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Wednesday, August 03, 2022

MLB Insider Puzzled By Red Sox Acquiring Eric Hosmer From Padres

I see some Red Sox fans applauding the pick-up of Hosmer. These are people who only pay cursory attention to other teams. The Padres are reportedly paying all of Hosmer’s contract except for the minimum. I suspect the account is exaggerated. I doubt the Padres would have also included two marginal prospects to just save the minimum salary when they could have just released Hosmer. Nevertheless, a team doesn’t pay most of a player’s remaining salary and find such little interest in a player with value.

Hosmer will be a disappointment to Red Sox fans and will be released by the Red Sox before next season.

jimfurtado Posted: August 03, 2022 at 09:18 AM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eric hosmer, padres, red sox

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   1. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: August 03, 2022 at 09:45 AM (#6089805)
I mean... is anyone really expecting anything from Hosmer at this point? Since signing with San Diego he's put up a 103 OPS+ and has been worth 3.9 bWAR (or 0.3 fWAR). I won't be disappointed if he ends up getting released.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: August 03, 2022 at 10:15 AM (#6089812)
FWIW, the "insider" is John Heyman, and Boras is Hosmer's agent.

As for supposed fan disappointment, the bar is so low for 1B right now.
   3. villageidiom Posted: August 03, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6089820)
I mean... is anyone really expecting anything from Hosmer at this point? Since signing with San Diego he's put up a 103 OPS+


.727 Hosmer OPS, 2022
.737 Hosmer OPS, career with SD
.665 Boston OPS from 1B, 2022
110/92 Fenway park factor vs. Petco park factor

I mean, Hosmer is bad for the price San Diego was paying for him to play in San Diego. But he's a vast improvement for Boston over what they had to date, especially for the price Boston will be paying him.
   4. Rally Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:00 AM (#6089824)
Hosmer has a 112 ops+, and has been slightly above average hitter for his time with the Padres.

That makes him the 4th best hitter in the Red Sox lineup. Bill James has been writing or tweeting a lot about Red Sox 1B costing games just by not knowing how to make basic plays at the position. Just from inexperience. Hosmer will at least give them a competent defender at first. It’s a low bar. Hosmer is not the first baseman you want on your roster, but he’s a lot better than what the Red Sox have run out there this season.
   5. Rally Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:01 AM (#6089825)
As far as the prospects, I assume San Diego values Jay Groome more than the 2 guys they are sending along with Hosmer.
   6. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:34 AM (#6089830)
can someone explain what Boras's ultimate strategy is with these inane Heyman tweets? Yesterday someone posted his story where he insisted Soto wasn't going anywhere. What does Boras gain from all that?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6089831)
I'm more puzzled with what Boston is doing in general, operating like a mid-market team when they are the freakin' Boston Red Sox.
   8. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:36 AM (#6089832)
I don't think this is very complicated:

The Padres cough up about $40m over the next 3+ years, plus a couple of marginal prospects who probably weren't going to make the 40-man this winter, anyway.

The Red Sox pay a couple million, as well as their #8 prospect in the system, and get a league-average first baseman, which looks pretty good when you have arguably the worst 1B situation in baseball.

Basically, once Bloom determined that he was not going to get much back for Martinez or Eovaldi, then he decided to solve a different problem: Could the Red Sox get significantly better, at no real cost to the farm system, simply by replacing abject holes in the lineup with...average players?

Tommy Pham is not amazing, but he is an average player. If you stick him in left field, and put Verdugo in right field, then you are taking Pham at bats to replace JBJ/Cordero/Arroyo/whatever at bats. That is a significant upgrade, on the whole. Pham cost them nothing (a PTBNL).

Hosmer is not amazing, but if he is taking Dalbec and Cordero ABs, that is a significant upgrade. Hosmer basically cost nothing.

The one guy that could fetch prospects worth having was Vazquez - so they traded him. But they needed a catcher, and probably wanted to save a few million bucks to pay for Pham and Hosmer, so they trade Diekman for a defensive-minded catcher. That's fine - Diekman was not very effective, and they out from under his $3.5m next year.

I think a lot of fans and "insiders" assume that there are teams lining up to give top-10 prospects for your expiring contracts. There are not. You trade two years of Juan Soto, you get legit prospects. You trade two months of JD Martinez, hitting under .200 for the last 35 games, you get salary relief, and that's about it.

   9. The Mighty Quintana Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6089833)
Have you seen Franchy play first base? Damn straight I'm applauding.
   10. JRVJ Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:40 AM (#6089834)
3, Yeah, Hosmer is no great shakes, but for $600K a year?

Not much of a puzzle.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:45 AM (#6089836)
I'm more puzzled with what Boston is doing in general, operating like a mid-market team when they are the freakin' Boston Red Sox.
I think mid-market teams trade more, if not all, of the expiring contracts. The Sox still have an above-average payroll, but most of it is sitting on the IL right now.
   12. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:56 AM (#6089837)
727 Hosmer OPS, 2022
.737 Hosmer OPS, career with SD
.665 Boston OPS from 1B, 2022
110/92 Fenway park factor vs. Petco park factor

I mean, Hosmer is bad for the price San Diego was paying for him to play in San Diego. But he's a vast improvement for Boston over what they had to date, especially for the price Boston will be paying him.


Oh, I agree. All I was getting at was that I don't think anyone is expecting him to save the season and that it wouldn't be a colossal disappointment of he doesn't perform well. They're paying him the league minimum and getting two prospects, even if they're fringe prospects.
   13. Textbook Editor Posted: August 03, 2022 at 01:28 PM (#6089854)
Everything #8 said.

I would be very, very surprised to see Hosmer released before 2023. During 2023, sure, I could see him released if he craters and Casas shows he can play everyday. But like #8 said, Pham and Hosmer fill two huge production holes. The moves are not sexy, because they fill holes with average (or maybe even slightly below average players), but those players didn't exist from within (or they'd have been tried by now).

I wouldn't sign a long-term lease were I Dalbec, as I suspect his days are numbered, at least going into next year. Maybe being able to fake it at 3B helps him stick around, but if Casas starts the season in Boston, there's not a lot of reasons to keep Dalbec around.

And yeah, people who thought JD or Eovaldi were going to get you anything of value were not being rational. That might have happened 10, maybe even 5 years ago, but not now. They're close enough where basically the play for 2022 is:

(a) We're only a few games out, maybe we get hot
(b) Having Hosmer/Pham for 2 months might be a wash (and sets you up better for 2023) considering you lose Vasquez/Diekman production in 2022.

And it's possible they also thought that adding Hosmer/Pham might even surpass the hit losing Vasquez brings for 2022. Not sure I agree but, again, it's impossible to overstate how bad 1B/RF has been, so it's definitely possible they could have a downgrade at C while massively upgrading 1B/RF and find themselves with a net + production in 2022.

Outside of Devers (and maybe Bogaerts), there were not hitting pieces to move that would have gotten them anything useful. And on the P side, only guys like Whitlock, Houck, and Pivetta would have gotten you anything, and they weren't trading those pieces.
   14. SandyRiver Posted: August 03, 2022 at 02:40 PM (#6089868)
Groome had a withering fastball when drafted out of HS, but TJ surgery and other injuries have cooled the fire. He was only 17 when drafted, but even allowing for the TJ, six years without ever reaching The Show makes me wonder why he was as high as #8 prospect for Boston.
Boston's earlier (2014) draft of a fireballing HS grad, Mike Kopech, has finally become a decent pitcher (for the Chisox) in 2021-22, so maybe Groome has a future as well.
   15. Darren Posted: August 03, 2022 at 03:18 PM (#6089873)
If you don't believe the reporting on how much the Padres are paying, then yeah, I guess this might seem bad. But otherwise, the Red Sox side is pretty easy to understand if you look at it as 2 transactions:

--Signing Hosmer for league minimum
--one higher ranked prospect on the 40 man for two lower ranked prospects.


I'm not sure what the Padres are getting out of this.
   16. DL from MN Posted: August 03, 2022 at 03:24 PM (#6089874)
I'm not sure what the Padres are getting out of this.


At-bats for Josh Bell instead of Hosmer.
   17. Textbook Editor Posted: August 03, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6089876)
At-bats for Josh Bell instead of Hosmer.


Yeah I assumed this was a roster issue/we don't want to DFA him and get nothing. Now they get Groome, at least.

I find it curious Hosmer has/had zero value outside of a full dump (MLM cost only). That's kind of surprising to me, but honestly 1B has been so bad this year that, again, when Hosmer looks like the "answer" you're already so far down that a warm body who can actually field the position seems exciting... It's possible Boston is literally the only club who wanted/needed to take on Hosmer--even at the MLM.
   18. The Duke Posted: August 03, 2022 at 03:46 PM (#6089877)
Rumor has it that taking on salary via DFA is worse for cap calcs than paying salary in a trade. Can anyone confirm?
   19. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2022 at 04:12 PM (#6089884)
Det has actually gotten worse production at 1B (by bWAA). The A's, Angels and Royals have also been quite bad but of course aren't contenders. Cle and Hou have gotten production at Hosmer's level so possibly they were interested. In the NL, Pitt has been terrible with the Cubs, Reds and Marlins also sub-Hosmer. The Giants are the only contender getting substantially below-average production at 1B but Belt is pretty much Hosmer and the Giants are fading fast. For league min or anything close to it, a homecoming to the Royals could have worked.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2022 at 04:31 PM (#6089887)
#18: I don't think it has to do with taking on but with getting rid of. First the only way the new team takes on substantial salary in a DFA is via a trade. For the current team though, as I understand it (not confirmation), if you DFA the player and end up releasing/outrighting him, then the salary stays on your books. If you can trade the player, even with money, then the salary transfers to the other team's books. That is, I don't beleive money sent from team A to team B to help pay the salary of a player counts as "CBT payroll" for team A nor does it reduce the "CBT payroll" of team B. (For example, in theory the Red Sox could trade Hosmer to another team without paying the new team any money at all and just keep the cash from the Padres. Hosmer and the cash are separate pieces.)

Cot's says the Padres are right on the threshold this year so clearing Hosmer probably balances what's owed Soto for the rest of this year -- anyway, trading him probably saves them an extra $500 K or something. More importantly, I think he's off their books for future years, helping them squeeze in Soto's arb awards below threshold. If I'm right, then the Red Sox just took on more CBT penalty this year and probably another few million in penalties going forward (unless Hosmer officially retires I think) which would explain the other pieces of the trade.

Note the Red Sox used a "loophole" a few years ago to move Rusney Castillo off the CBT books by DFAing him. But I believe that loophole was closed.
   21. Zach Posted: August 03, 2022 at 05:46 PM (#6089901)
Hosmer will be a disappointment to Red Sox fans and will be released by the Red Sox before next season.

This is overstating the case, I think.

From BBref:

                                         
Year    Age    G   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2011     21  128 .293 .334 .465 .799  118
2012     22  152 .232 .304 .359 .663   81
2013     23  159 .302 .353 .448 .801  118
2014     24  131 .270 .318 .398 .716   99
2015     25  158 .297 .363 .459 .822  122
2016     26  158 .266 .328 .433 .761  102
2017     27  162 .318 .385 .498 .882  133
2018     28  157 .253 .322 .398 .720  100
2019     29  160 .265 .310 .425 .735   94
2020     30   38 .287 .333 .517 .851  132
2021     31  151 .269 .337 .395 .732  104
2022     32   90 .272 .336 .391 .727  112
12 Y   12 Y 1644 .277 .336 .429 .765  108


BA and OBP are right in line with his career numbers, SLG is only 30 points lower, and he's moving to Fenway. He's got a good glove by the eye test (although WAR hates his defense) and the Red Sox badly need first base defense.

I predict the casual fan will like him just fine.



   22. Buck Coats Posted: August 03, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6089904)
If you can trade the player, even with money, then the salary transfers to the other team's books. That is, I don't beleive money sent from team A to team B to help pay the salary of a player counts as "CBT payroll" for team A nor does it reduce the "CBT payroll" of team B.


I'm pretty sure this is not correct - if you trade a guy making 10 million and pay 8 million of his salary as part of the trade, those 8 million are still on your books, tax-wise. They specifically have that rule to prevent that kind of loophole where you can dump a salary but not owe the tax on it.
   23. The Duke Posted: August 03, 2022 at 07:54 PM (#6089913)
The idea that Hosmer is a bad ballplayer is weird. Being overpaid and bad are two very different things.

He could end up around 25 WAR for his career - that's not too shabby
   24. Moeball Posted: August 03, 2022 at 09:22 PM (#6089924)
#19 - your Giants comment had me thinking. It's early August and:

1) The Giants have already lost almost as many games as they did all of last season and

2) The Orioles have already won more games this season than they did all of last year

I did not expect either of these things to happen when the season began.

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that the Orioles would be in the hunt for the Wild Card I never would have believed it.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2022 at 09:46 PM (#6089926)
If you had told me at the beginning of the season that the Orioles would be in the hunt for the Wild Card I never would have believed it.


Which is why I also don't take people seriously when they say "Team X is at least a couple of years away from competing" during the off season. The Angels can compete for a playoff spot as soon as next year, same with the Nationals or Reds... (okay Oakland can't but that is a decision they made themselves by insisting on never spending any money or keeping any player one year past arbitration)
   26. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 03, 2022 at 11:01 PM (#6089937)
The idea that Hosmer is a bad ballplayer is weird. Being overpaid and bad are two very different things.


Agree. Any player with 20 WAR or more in a career is a really solid player.

Of course just a few years ago, Boston had Moreland, who's kind of the same thing in a slightly different shape. He hit ok, seemed to be ok as fielder and didn't seem to hurt the Sox during their 2018 season.

Hosmer is the new Moreland and looking to bring the title back to Boston!

Of course all for the league minimum. It seems like a decent deal to me.
   27. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 04, 2022 at 07:36 AM (#6089952)
It must be a scary time for Bobby Dalbec.
   28. jimfurtado Posted: August 04, 2022 at 07:59 AM (#6089953)
The idea that Hosmer is a bad ballplayer is weird. Being overpaid and bad are two very different things.

The Red Sox are getting the player he is now. They aren't getting the best Eric Hosmer, who was above average in a few seasons.

Season Team Level Age G PA HR R RBI SB BBKISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA xwOBA wRCBsR Off Def WAR
2011 KCR MLB 21 128 563 19 66 78 11 6.0
14.6.172 .314 .293 .334 .465 .343  113 3.0 11.6 -20.3 1.1
2012 KCR MLB 22 152 598 14 65 60 16 9.4
15.9.127 .255 .232 .304 .359 .291  80 2.6 -11.2 -21.9 -1.3
2013 KCR MLB 23 159 680 17 86 79 11 7.5
14.7.146 .335 .302 .353 .448 .350  120 0.7 16.2 -9.1 3.1
2014 KCR MLB 24 131 547 9 54 58 4 6.4
17.0.127 .312 .270 .318 .398 .314  98 -6.2 -7.5 -11.3 -0.2
2015 KCR MLB 25 158 667 18 98 93 7 9.1
16.2.162 .336 .297 .363 .459 .355 .361 124 3.1 21.7 -10.8 3.5
2016 KCR MLB 26 158 667 25 80 104 5 8.5
19.8.167 .301 .266 .328 .433 .326 .330 102 -5.5 -3.7 -19.3 0.0
2017 KCR MLB 27 162 671 25 98 94 6 9.8
15.5.179 .351 .318 .385 .498 .376 .352 135 1.9 30.6 -15.2 3.8
2018 SDP MLB 28 157 677 18 72 69 7 9.2
21.0.145 .302 .253 .322 .398 .309 .302 95 -4.2 -8.2 -17.5 -0.5
2019 SDP MLB 29 160 667 22 72 99 0 6.0
24.4.160 .323 .265 .310 .425 .309 .304 92 -5.2 -12.1 -18.4 -0.9
2020 SDP MLB 30 38 156 9 23 36 4 5.8
17.9.231 .296 .287 .333 .517 .359 .366 128 0.5 6.0 -4.1 0.7
2021 SDP MLB 31 151 565 12 53 65 5 8.5
17.5.126 .313 .269 .337 .395 .319 .326 102 -5.5 -3.8 -9.5 0.6
2022 SDP MLB 32 90 369 8 32 40 0 8.9
14.9.119 .304 .272 .336 .391 .317 .306 107 -4.7 -1.8 -7.3 0.4

2022 ZiPS ROS 32 48 193 5 18 23 1 8.0
18.4.127 .303 .261 .323 .388 .310  103 -0.6 0.0 -3.8 0.3
2022 Steamer ROS 32 43 177 5 20 21 1 8.0
17.0.149 .310 .274 .335 .423 .329  115 -0.6 2.5 -4.0 0.5
2022 FGDC ROS 32 42 181 5 19 22 1 8.0
17.7.138 .306 .268 .329 .406 .320  104 -0.6 0.2 -3.8 0.2
2022 THE BAT ROS 32 43 184 4 22 21 1 8.3
16.3.133 .310 .274 .337 .408 .325  107 -0.1 1.4 -4.0 0.3
2022 THE BAT X ROS 32 43 184 4 22 20 1 8.1
16.3.130 .304 .268 .330 .398 .319  103 -0.1 0.5 -4.0 0.2
Total 
- - - MLB  1644 6827 196 799 875 76 8.117.6.152 .314 .277 .336 .429 .330  107 -19.7 37.8 -164.8 10.2 


I've watched a LOT of Padres games the last few years. He's a below-average defensive first baseman who is a groundball machine.

The player the Red Sox are getting is not a good player; he's not an average player; he's a bad player. That he's a cheap option at this point and ever so slightly better than the guys the Red Sox have been trotting out there this year doesn't change that.
   29. Rally Posted: August 04, 2022 at 10:23 AM (#6089962)
Of course just a few years ago, Boston had Moreland, who's kind of the same thing in a slightly different shape. He hit ok, seemed to be ok as fielder and didn't seem to hurt the Sox during their 2018 season.

Hosmer is the new Moreland and looking to bring the title back to Boston!


Moreland is a great comp - looked him up and find out he had a .764 career OPS. Almost identical to Hosmer (765). They came up about the same time, but Hosmer is a few years younger so he’ll play a bit longer while it looks like Moreland reached the end of the line last year.

The biggest difference between the two is that nobody ever felt the need to overpay Moreland - his highest salary was 6.5 million, perfectly fine for a guy who’s below average but above replacement.
   30. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 04, 2022 at 11:19 AM (#6089971)
Hosmer's last 4 full seasons

2018: -1.2 WAA
2019: -2.6 WAA
2021: -1.0 WAA
2022: 0.1 WAA

They are getting a bad player. He's been average to below for most of the last 5 years (2020'a 38-game bizzaro season aside). He's got a .669 career OPS vs. Lefties
   31. Cris E Posted: August 04, 2022 at 12:29 PM (#6089984)
Locals may correct me, but I recall Hosmer was liked by the folks in KC quite a bit. Of course everyone is beloved when you're in the World Series, but he was a team face. Could he pull a Kevin Millar blue collar man of the people in BOS? I mean he completely flipped off the fans in WAS this week, but is he a guy that could become a fav in BOS without hitting 35 HR?
   32. villageidiom Posted: August 04, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6089989)
Boston was on pace for around -3.0 WAA at 1B this year, so it sounds like Ithaca2323 would say this is a good move for Boston.
   33. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 04, 2022 at 01:48 PM (#6089999)
It must be a scary time for Bobby Dalbec.

He looked good the last 2 months of last year. It looked like he'd figured something out and would be a good player from that point forward. Then he started this year looking as bad as ever.
   34. Zach Posted: August 04, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6090012)
#28 -- I think that table is just telling the old story that WAR hates his defense.

If you look at the WRC+ column, starting in 2015 you get 124, 102, 135, 95, 92, 128, 102, 107. Average to slightly above.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 04, 2022 at 03:10 PM (#6090016)
If you look at the WRC+ column, starting in 2015 you get 124, 102, 135, 95, 92, 128, 102, 107. Average to slightly above.

Right, but average offense at 1B is bad. A 1b needs to have a 120 wRC+ to even be decent.
   36. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 04, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6090018)
A 1b needs to have a 120 wRC+ to even be decent.

Jaffe, back in March:
First basemen as a group hit for a 114 wRC+ in 2021, not only the highest mark in the majors but the position’s highest mark since ’17, when they hit for a 117 wRC+....

Guerrero aside, it’s not particularly a young man’s position these days, with Olson, Ty France, Pete Alonso, and Jared Walsh the only other players in their age-27 seasons or younger among the 14 who reached at least 2.0 WAR. Of the seven with at least 3.0 WAR, four (Votto, Goldschmidt, Yuli Gurriel, and Brandon Belt) were in their age-33 seasons or older. The Tigers’ Spencer Torkelson and the Red Sox’s Triston Casas, both of whom ranked among our top 20 prospects overall, could help to provide an infusion of youth to the position in 2022, but for now this position belongs to the over-30 set — which suggests the possibility of another downturn ahead unless all these veterans can fight the aging process.
   37. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: August 04, 2022 at 03:36 PM (#6090020)
Similarly, if you take the top 30 players in innings played at first and average their OPS+ (not weighted by PA or innings or anything) - which will produce a higher average than the above approach because we're restricted to starters ... Hosmer this year is tied for 16th out of the 30.

(190, 158, 153, 152, 149, 143, 143, 141, 133, 126, 124, 124, 124, 123, 122, 112, 112, 110, 109, 104, 101, 97, 96, 94, 93, 92, 90, 78, 75, 67)

I'm confident that he's "worse" than that - but this clearly isn't a disaster for the minimum.
   38. Rally Posted: August 04, 2022 at 03:47 PM (#6090026)
Hosmer is slightly below average. For his career, per 162 games, 1.9 WAR, 0.4 wins below average. If he keeps doing that, he’ll be the 15th-20th best 1B around, with 10 teams being worse off.
   39. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 04, 2022 at 04:02 PM (#6090033)
I am reminded of Bill James' comment that every year, teams lose the pennant because of they are unable to find average players.
   40. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 04, 2022 at 04:37 PM (#6090043)
Right, but average offense at 1B is bad. A 1b needs to have a 120 wRC+ to even be decent.


When Eck is on the broadcast, he'll say the team stinks, in so many words. With Millar last night, the tone was "prosperity is just around the corner". It's annoying. Everyone knows that the team is not good, and won't be good this year (and maybe next).
   41. Textbook Editor Posted: August 04, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6090045)
I am reminded of Bill James' comment that every year, teams lose the pennant because of they are unable to find average players.


Yes. I think it's very tough to blame the Red Sox recent woes entirely on the 1B/RF issue (especially when at the same time their starting P basically had the wheels come off all at once), but it certainly did not help matters to be abject both offensively AND defensively at both positions during that timeframe.
   42. Banta Posted: August 04, 2022 at 06:46 PM (#6090059)
The other part about Hosmer is that his numbers aren’t too bad this season because he managed a .389 average in April, on a .439 BAbip. If you look at what he’s done since then, combined with 2021, it’s not hard to see a player in serious decline. Particularly his ISO, which was obviously never much more than adequate for his position, he’s posted the two lowest rates of his career the last two seasons. Shows he’s probably not hitting the ball with much authority anymore and he’s probably lucky to have an above average OPS+ at this point. Still might be an upgrade for the Red Sox and still might be able to hover around mediocrity for awhile longer, but I don’t think it’s absurd to think it’s equally likely he could be released within the next year.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 04, 2022 at 07:13 PM (#6090062)
I am reminded of Bill James' comment that every year, teams lose the pennant because of they are unable to find average players.

Right, but the Red Sox don't seem to be trying to win the pennant right now. For 2023 and 2024, they shouldn't certainly try to do better than Hosmer if that's their goal.
   44. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 04, 2022 at 09:24 PM (#6090083)
Boston was on pace for around -3.0 WAA at 1B this year, so it sounds like Ithaca2323 would say this is a good move for Boston.


I commented on Hosmer's ability as a player. That he's an improvement on the Black hole that is Boston's current 1B situation doesn't make him a good player. Particularly when this increased 2022 WAA, — which still only gets him to league average — seems to be driven by an unlikely reverse platoon split driven by some BABIP magic.

Hosmer career vs. LHP: .254/.300/.369, .292 BABIP
Hosmer 2022 vs. LHP: .330/.370/.426, .382 BABIP

Per Fangraphs, Hosmer has the lowest hard hit percentage of his career and the second-lowest line drive percentage of his career, which likely explains how his 2022 ISO vs. LHP is even worse than his career rate.

But, baseball being baseball, the Red Sox are .500. Conceivably, they could sneak into the 2nd WC at like, 84-78, win a couple of short series, and look like geniuses.
   45. villageidiom Posted: August 04, 2022 at 10:02 PM (#6090093)
Yes. I think it's very tough to blame the Red Sox recent woes entirely on the 1B/RF issue (especially when at the same time their starting P basically had the wheels come off all at once), but it certainly did not help matters to be abject both offensively AND defensively at both positions during that timeframe.
To elaborate, their 3B, 2B, CF, best reliever, and 4 starting pitchers were all on the IL at the same time, and their DH was shut down for a few days as well. Six of those hobbled players are in the team's top 12 in WAR this year, and two (Hernandez and Sale) could reasonably have been expected to have been in the top 12 if they'd played enough this year.

True, they were not a deep team. However, what happened to them in July was far beyond what a reasonable amount of depth could have solved. When you have that many good or potentially good players all out at the same time, and all* your underperformers are healthy, you're gonna suck.

But, baseball being baseball, the Red Sox are .500. Conceivably, they could sneak into the 2nd WC at like, 84-78, win a couple of short series, and look like geniuses.
They will definitely not look like geniuses. But "people think they're geniuses" would be a popular strawman if they do rebound into the playoffs.
   46. DanG Posted: August 04, 2022 at 10:19 PM (#6090101)
The other part about Hosmer is that his numbers aren’t too bad this season because he managed a .389 average in April, on a .439 BAbip. If you look at what he’s done since then, combined with 2021, it’s not hard to see a player in serious decline.
Hosmer since May 14:

242 PA
4 HR
17 RBI
.217 BA
.281 OBP
.308 SLG
.244 BAbip

OTOH, his career numbers in Fenway Park:

109 PA
3 HR
.354 BA
.404 OBP
.485 SLG
.421 BAbip
133 tOPS+

Among the 20 ballparks where Hosmer has at least 97 PA, Fenway is his favorite.
   47. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 04, 2022 at 11:53 PM (#6090108)
Hosmer 0 for 3 today with a BB. Looks like the the larger sample sizes actually do matter as posted in 46.

No one is suggesting Hosmer is actually any good now. What was suggested is that he has accumulated close to 20 BWAR in his career and that's pretty good. It was also suggested that he only needs to be Eric Hosmer to improve on the previous performance of Red Sox 1B this year. Of course all this for only the cost of the league minimum.

I'm just waiting for Xander and Devers to test him daily with short throws as I'm keen to see that scooping ability!
   48. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 05, 2022 at 10:49 AM (#6090122)
No one is suggesting Hosmer is actually any good now.


If you go upthread, you'll find several people saying exactly that in so many words.

Hosmer is one of those players who has always, for reasons I've never understood, provoked delusions in otherwise-rational people. Doing things like quoting the career stats of a 32-year-old 1B whose last good season was five years ago and decreeing that he's average. Setting up a similar strawman by saying his career has been solid. Pretending that people's objections are to his salary.

Now, will he be an improvement for the Sox? Is he worth the cost of a busted prospect? Sure. But he's a bad player. Let's not be confused about that.
   49. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: August 05, 2022 at 11:33 AM (#6090126)
I think it was someone here a while back who noted that Hosmer resembles evil Calvin (C+H). Good call.
   50. Darren Posted: August 05, 2022 at 02:03 PM (#6090157)
The other part about Hosmer is that his numbers aren’t too bad this season because he managed a .389 average in April, on a .439 BAbip. If you look at what he’s done since then, combined with 2021, it’s not hard to see a player in serious decline.

....
Hosmer since May 14:

242 PA
4 HR
17 RBI
.217 BA
.281 OBP
.308 SLG
.244 BAbip



So Hosmer looks bad when you remove the good stretches from his season?
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2022 at 02:14 PM (#6090158)
So Hosmer looks bad when you remove the good stretches from his season?
Seriously.

From the all-star break last year until May 1, he was .304/.381/.468 over 315 PA's or so. If someone looked for "decline" in that you wouldn't really see it.

I'm not claiming he's good in this post, I'm just warning about slicing up someone's stats into smaller samples to look for underlying trends.
   52. Darren Posted: August 05, 2022 at 02:18 PM (#6090159)
Hosmer in...

May 2019: .343 .381 .486, .386 Babip
April 2021: .320 .384 .460, .349 Babip
July 2021: .355 .425 .487, .424 Babip
   53. Nasty Nate Posted: August 05, 2022 at 02:24 PM (#6090161)
Signs of decline are easy to find. E.G., If you looked at Paul Goldschmidt's prior 350ish PA's at some point in early 2021, you would find shaky stats from a 33-year old (and aging!) guy. Since then he's been one of the best hitters on the planet. Clearly I am implying that Hosmer is Goldschmidt and vice versa!
   54. The Duke Posted: August 05, 2022 at 03:06 PM (#6090167)
What is the underlying reason for his bWAR being double his fWAR?

Another largely subjective question. A lot of adjectives get thrown around about Hosmer. He is said to be "average". Does that mean he is "good" in baseball parlance. Alternatively, some say he is "bad". I guess i would have thought bad was "replacement or less " or "negative WAR.

Even today he is throwing up about 1 WAR per year - what is that? "Bad"? "Good", "average"

Finally, what accounts for him going from a wretched defensive player on OAA earlier in his career to simply mediocre today. Goldschmidt is a great 1B. I watch every game. He's at -5. Hosmer is at -2 which implies he is better than a guy I think is providing gold glove defense
   55. Banta Posted: August 05, 2022 at 03:49 PM (#6090179)
So Hosmer looks bad when you remove the good stretches from his season?


Heh, I knew someone was gonna say that. You can obviously use these subjective end points with every player to paint a narrative. I wasn’t really trying to, as much as saying with the exception of a month that looks pretty lucky based on other factors like his ISO and hard hit ball %, there are some obvious warning signs. And they happen to correspond with the observations people are reporting, namely hitting a lot of weak grounders. A low-power (for his position) guy like Hosmer doesn’t have a lot of extra rope to stay in the vicinity of average. If he loses just a bit of his power, it could be lights out for him quickly, as he’s not a high average or high walk guy either. 53, for instance, may not be implying that Hosmer is Goldschmidt but it is a comparison that doesn’t really track beyond the general point that all players have good and bad streaks. Someone like Goldschmidt is gonna get more of the benefit of doubt over 350 poor PAs because his ceiling has been so much higher.

None of this means that Hosmer won’t fed off time or that it isn’t still a good move for the Red Sox. I’m really trying to advocate for the middle ground position here. To my eye, it’s as reasonable to think that he may be done as a starting caliber ML player soon as it is to presume that he’ll be an averagish performer for the Red Sox this year and next. I don’t really think that it’s reasonable for anyone to be as certain over his future as some of the posts on both sides have implied. I apologize if I’ve mischaracterized anyone’s position here.
   56. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 05, 2022 at 04:25 PM (#6090185)
I don't know what he did after his 1st AB last night, but in the smallest of sample sizes he hit the ball pretty well to CF, for an out.
   57. Zach Posted: August 07, 2022 at 01:15 AM (#6090371)
Goldschmidt is a great 1B. I watch every game. He's at -5. Hosmer is at -2 which implies he is better than a guy I think is providing gold glove defense

Defensive metrics are suspect, particularly at first base.
   58. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: August 07, 2022 at 04:02 AM (#6090377)
Sorry to hijack, but the most baffling move at the Deadline is the Yankees' trading Jordan Montgomery. He's not great, but he absolutely fills a need for them.

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