With the signing of Eric Hosmer, the San Diego Padres will need to restructure their team a bit.
The slick-fielding first baseman will surely play everyday, as he has proven he is more than capable of doing so. Hosmer is a presence in the middle of a brand new Padres’ lineup and a left-handed bat that the team has needed for a long time. It is an exciting time to be a fan of the San Diego Padres.
In bringing in Hosmer, the Padres will now have some roster shuffling to do. There is presently an excess of outfielders, as Travis Jankowski, Alex Dickerson, Franchy Cordero and Matt Szczur will all battle it out for one or possible two spots on the roster.
Hosmer will be in San Diego for at least five years, so there will be some effecst to the whole structure of the team and its minor league system. There is no longer a need for a first baseman of the future, as Hosmer will easily be in place when Fernando Tatis Jr., Mackenzie Gore, Cal Quantrill, Luis Urias and company hit the major leagues.
There are some direct issues that will need to be resolved though. General manager A.J. Preller has shown the ability time and time again to adjust on the fly. With the signing of Hosmer, the trade winds are surely blowing through the Padres’ front office.
Here is a glimpse at some things to look for immediately within the Padres’ franchise.
Wil Myers will move to left field or right field
This should not be an issue, as Myers has a history in the outfield. He has proven to be athletic as he played center for the team in 2015. That experiment failed, but Myers still showed some ability out there. Perhaps a move to the outfield will give him more time to focus on hitting. Hosmer and Myers are old friends from the Royals’ system and the addition of the left-handed hitter could be really beneficial for Myers’ psyche. If Hosmer can connect with Myers, Wil could be in store for a huge year.
Jose Pirela will return to the infield in some capacity
The team has already been working Pirela at second base in the spring, so it seems he will be given an opportunity there. He could also backup Hosmer at first and get time in the outfield. He has proven to be versatile and could be a great utility man. However, Pirela was the Padres best offensive player last year and should obviously be given an opportunity to be in the lineup everyday. Carlos Asuaje and Pirela could be used in a platoon of some sort at the start of the year. The Cactus League season will dictate a lot about what the Padres will do in 2018 in this regard.
Franchy Cordero loses opportunity, or does he?
Franchy Cordero might have been able to earn some playing time if the Padres were unable to sign Hosmer. It was looking like he and Jose Pirela would probably platoon out there, but that all changed on Saturday night. Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers are the meat of the lineup. They will both play each and every day. Pirela could be shifted to the infield for at bats, but what about Cordero? Franchy has probably earned a serious look at the major league level, but the youngster cannot just sit on the bench. He needs at bats. Can Cordero get enough playing time as the fourth outfielder? Spelling Renfroe and Manuel Margot could give him some playing time, but probably not enough to keep him in the majors.
Where does this leave Josh Naylor?
Naylor is a left-handed hitting first baseman who will now need to shift to the outfield in order to gain playing time. He was witnessed getting work done in the outfield this week in an attempt to see if he can handle the position. The Padres like Naylor but, with the addition of Hosmer, he has no opening on the Padres now or in the future. The young Canadian’ outfielder could be used as trade bait. He has progressed very well for his age and could really blossom in 2018 with the bat. The power is coming for this young man. Giving Preller a viable trade chip is not a bad thing.