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Reactions to the Eric Hosmer signing

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He can buy a lot of fish tacos now.

Colorado Rockies v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Eric Hosmer sweepstakes has ended, with the Padres inking him to a front-loaded eight-year contract worth $144 million that includes an opt-out after five years. How did the baseball world react?

According to Rustin Dodd, the Royals made a very competitive offer.

In the final stages of the offseason, the Royals were believed to have been willing to offer a deal in the neighborhood of $140 million. The length of the proposed contract — in addition to the final numbers — were unknown on Sunday morning.

Yet at least two factors in the Padres’ contract offer may have swung the pendulum in their favor. First, San Diego offered an opt-out after five seasons, allowing Hosmer to potentially become a free agent again at age 33. In addition, they heavily front-loaded the deal, guaranteeing Hosmer a reported $105 million in those first five seasons.

One of Hosmer’s close friends, Deven Marrero, talked a bit about how Hosmer handled free agency.

“There was nothing in him that was worrying him or anything like that. He knew he was going to get what he was going to get. I’m sure he’s happy making a decision, that’s why he waited so long. He’s not the type of person. He’s not the type who freaks out, who panics and stuff like that. He was cool as a cucumber. He handled it perfectly. He got bullied there a little bit at the beginning, but that didn’t faze him. He knew his worth and got what he deserved.”

Sam Mellinger writes that we should be praising Hosmer for what he meant to this city.

Hosmer had something like the perfect Royals career. We can nitpick. Goodness, sports fans can always nitpick. He hit too many grounders and not enough homers. His defensive range doesn’t match his athleticism, and for Royals fans of a certain age his career may bring to mind Bret Saberhagen — excellent in odd-numbered years, not as much in even.

The hardest thing to do in modern times is to step back, to see the forest and not just the trees. That’s particularly true in sports, and especially so at this instant — as an athlete who came to mean so much to Kansas City turns down an enormous contract here to sign somewhere else ... and there’s a compelling case that the Royals will be better for it.

There’s plenty of time for that debate, but having it now feels a little soulless, a little like turning sports into classwork instead of recess when the whole point of the Royals’ last decade has been a core led most consistently by Hosmer turning baseball here into the greatest sports story and funnest ride we’ve had in decades.

Bradford Doolittle at ESPN thinks the deal just may work for the Padres.

Are intangibles worth at least $105 million, or possibly $144 million? Of course not. But there are plenty of reasons to believe -- call it hope -- that this deal will work out for the Padres, as the likes of Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr. and Cal Quantrill and MacKenzie Gore make their way to Petco Park over the next few years. They will join a clubhouse in which Hosmer sets the tone, and as a former champion, he’ll command the respect that such veterans always do in big league clubhouses. Maybe you don’t value that; the Royals clearly did, and the Padres clearly do.

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs doesn’t get this deal for the Padres, unless they think they’re pretty close to contending.

We should get back to the nature of this match. It was strange that Hosmer wound up having to pick between the Padres and the Royals to begin with. Neither team is competitive, and good free agents tend to sign with better teams. And given the choice, it would’ve been easy to see Hosmer sticking with what he knows. He’s always been with Kansas City. He’s won with Kansas City. The people there love him. He could be a franchise icon, the rare one-team player. I don’t know Eric Hosmer, so I don’t know why he picked the Padres, but maybe he just wanted a change. He’s already been a leader through one rebuild; maybe he simply thinks the Padres are closer to emerging from theirs. The Royals might be down for a while yet. Hosmer might see the Padres on the rise.

Keith Law at ESPN (INSIDER) thinks the Padres overpaid.

Travis Sawchick thinks Scott Boras landed his deal by appealing to ownership rather than the front office.

Maybe this is nothing too out of the ordinary. Owners, of course, are ultimately the decision-makers. On the other hand, maybe Boras — the vast majority of his free-agent clients unsigned — now feels compelled to make an appeal directly to ownership, calling an end-around against the San Diego front office. After all, we know Dave Cameron is leading the analytics charge in San Diego, and he designated Hosmer as his No. 1 free-agent landmine of the winter. Very few analytically minded people would sign off on a seven-year deal for Hosmer.

David Pinto at Baseball Musings thinks this signing puts an end to collusion rumors.

It also pretty much blows the collusion argument out of the water. I doubt the Padres would have paid this much if there wasn’t competition for the player, or if they didn’t think he was a key piece to winning.

Ned Yost said that Hosmer hadn’t made any contact with him.

Hosmer’s former teammates were happy for him.

Where do the Royals go from here?

Hosmer by the numbers:

Fans and media reflected on the Hosmer era and wished him well.

Best of luck, Hos.