Is Eric Hosmer Necessary if Alex Dickerson Can Come Back Strong?

Credit: AP Photo

It’s February, and in a most unprecedented turn of events, many of Major League Baseball’s biggest free-agents remain unsigned.

This includes Eric Hosmer, whom the Padres have reportedly been pursuing the entire off-season.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported back in January that the Padres had made an offer to Hosmer of seven-years for less than $140 million. In a radio interview with The Mighty 1090 on January 16, Padres Executive Chairman, Ron Fowler, confirmed that the team had indeed made an offer to Hosmer, but he didn’t divulge many new details.

Well here we are about half a month later, still being driven out of our minds with Hosmer rumors floating around social media, day in and day out.

The most recent morsel of information that has been brought forward is that Hosmer is looking for a deal longer than seven years, as reported on Wednesday by Jon Morosi.

It’s not looking like things are shifting in the Padres’ direction at this point, however. Rumors are just rumors. There’s a chance that this report is simply Hosmer’s agent, Scott Boras, posturing in the eleventh hour. Hosmer isn’t in a great bargaining position, as there aren’t that many teams reported to be actively pursuing him. Lack of suitors, along with the fact that this has been the slowest off-season for free agent signings in recent memory, indicates that Hosmer may end up taking a lot less than his asking price in the end.

In the event that Hosmer and Boras are serious about their demands, the Padres really need to consider taking a pass. Seven years for $140 million is way too much for this team to spend on a player like Hosmer. Take the amount of years up to eight for more money; it’s just obscene. The team should especially think twice about going over the top on Hosmer since they may have a player in their system already who could end up being very Hosmer-like at virtually no cost.

We’re looking for a left-handed hitter with some power and the ability to get on base, right? Perhaps we’ve forgotten about Alex Dickerson because he missed all of last season. But he’s been activated from the disabled list and is ready to take the field in spring training.

Credit: USA Today Sports

Yes, of course it’s obvious that Dickerson has not proven himself to be the player that Hosmer already has. His numbers aren’t the same as those put up by Hosmer in 2017, but can he get there?

In Hosmer’s rookie season with the Royals in 2011, he slashed .293/.334/.465 with 19 home runs and a wRC+ of 113 in 563 plate appearances. In Dickerson’s rookie season with the Padres in 2016, he slashed .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a wRC+ of 112 in 285 plate appearances. Upon close inspection, those numbers look strikingly similar. Dickerson’s average was down a little bit from Hosmer’s, but their OBP and slugging percentages were almost identical. Dickerson probably would have hit as many dingers as Hosmer if he had gotten as many plate appearances. Also, they had almost the same wRC+. Are we missing something here?

Dickerson can play left field, which actually provides the Padres with more value than Hosmer would at first base only. If the team is really dead set on moving Myers back to the outfield (which they aren’t), guess what? Dickerson can also play first base. Yes I know, his defense at first wasn’t stellar in El Paso. That’s okay, Hosmer isn’t actually that great defensively either. Plus, Dickerson can improve at the position with time. It’s better taking a risk on him there than taking a risk on Hosmer, who won’t be able to move anywhere else on the field.

If Dickerson can come back strong from his bulging disk issues in 2018, he could really be the left-handed bat that the Padres have been needing for a long time. Dickerson is under five years of team control. Imagine what a super value he would provide this team, even if he only becomes three-quarters of the player that Hosmer is. It seems like a no-brainer for the team to make sure that they don’t already have an Eric Hosmer on the roster before adding another one. “Prestige value” be darned.

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Benjamin Salom
Baseball is the second most beautiful art form in my opinion. The first is what God does with our San Diego sunsets. Football's pretty exquisite too. I'm Sarah's husband and a Cal alum. I have been a Padres fan since childhood. My first experiences were at the Q watching Tony and the crew in the 90's. I love sports and I love San Diego. I hope you enjoy my thoughts!

This article has 14 Comments

  1. Look, my main argument for getting Hosmer is because of the leadership idea, or lack thereof- it’s a real need. My problem is the same as many but let me put it in a different light based on history, or, Padres history and reality: IF this organization is stable with the same ownership in 5-6 years (when Hosmer is probably on the downside) that money is going to be used as an excuse for why they can’t go out and get a missing piece or two to achieve this playoff run we’re all waiting for.

    This club can’t “afford” to spend 20 mil/ on “leadership”. Why? Because this club is tethered to a spending limit. They’re making too much revenue hiding behind the “small market” label and ownership is having a great time.

    So welcome to the land of Ron Fowler. He is not going to do anything but make money (and not spend it). That’s why Petco is a walking video game/scoreboard. It’s not baseball, it’s advertising. That’s also why we haven’t come close to having a .500 season since they took over (or before it). It’s also a good reason why we may not do much of anything but be a “promising thing” for the foreseeable future. If the farm works out, great, we’ll hit the playoffs on the cheap. Don’t look for a Towers era acquisition though- we’ll have Hosmer, or a guy like him, and that’s where the cash will sit. There’s no Vaughn coming, or a contract pick-up. Maybe a rental guy so it looks like they tried. But we’re not the Rangers, and AJ will find that out soon enough (and then leave for greener pastures called New York).

    BY THE WAY, SAN DIEGO IS THE 8TH LARGEST CITY IN THE US while the Padres are considered “small market”. Figure that one out. Oh yeah, they mean by “media presence”…… oh yeah, forgot that. Never mind, poor us.

    Regardless of that crap, the organization will not be stable, it really never has been for more than a few years at a time. If it’s Eric Hosmer now or some other decent player in a few years, that’s as good as it gets. Fowler is not going to put a ding in the armor of his revenue machine because he doesn’t have to: it’d be bad business. We’re gonna drink the kool-aid of this farm system for the next several years, and Hosmer or not doesn’t change that. It does change the perception though, and they’ll play that game well and if they pass on Hosmer, they’ll pick up someone they can print on banners and make a bobblehead for. Either way, we’ll be 5-10 games under .500 and 30 games out of 1st. Fowler will have absolutely no sleep lost over that folks…

    Oh, but just for the sake of argument and pretend and that this winning stuff does matter…, you don’t pony up 160 mill for a “leader”. in this “small market”. You pony up 160 for an absolute superstar.

  2. The fact that Meyers is at 1B hurts his value as an overall player. The fact that he hits RH is not a plus either considering the makeup of most of the prospects already in San Diego and the ones coming soon. Then add in his inconsistency while he has been a Padre and his overall numbers last season both offensively and defensively. Can we get the defense he showed in 2016 from now on? Can he stretch his great months at the plate over an entire season? Can he steal 20 bases plus year in year out? That should get us a player that will be a 4-5 WAR player for the next decade. The big problem in my eyes is, I don’t think he can do that, that then brings up the question WHY DID WE GIVE THIS KID THE CONTRACT WE DID? I say let’s hope Meyers has a strong first half like he did back in 2016 and get him out of here ASAP!!! He has ZERO leadership potential.

    I am fine with trying Dickerson and continuing developing Naylor. We need a Plus Power bat that hits LH at 1B ASAP.

    Let Hosmer go back to the Royals.

  3. How much value does Meyers lose if he’s sent back to the outfield to spend chunks of every season on the DL? How much does doing so hasten his decline? How the heck does getting another 1B instead of an OF make any sense?

  4. It is very foolish for a team to sign a player who is average at best, yet bases the contract on a career year (and the hype of a hyperbolic agent).

  5. Here’s the deal you always say this guy is better or what if this guy. etc… Hosmer is a leader that we lack. Prellers faults no ones talking about are farm now. You people would be against anything that will make the Padres good for years to come. Dickerson is not the answer. Naylor is not the answer.

    1. Because us “people” do not want the Padres to profoundly hinder their progress by committing WAY TOO much money over a FAR TOO long of a contract, at a position that is less important, and is not even a need, to a player that is over-hyped and actually BELOW AVERAGE compared to the other first basemen, then we are “against anything that will make the Padres good for years to come.”??? Whether Dickerson or Naylor are good, or even the answer, is besides the point. They already invested their biggest contract ever in first base. It is the easiest position to fill. There will be plenty of people over the next 7 years that they could find. Yet you declare everyone who holds to these obvious facts as “against anything that will make the Padres good for years to come.”?

  6. the elephant in the middle of the room, has nothing to do with fans wanting to hold off on acquiring a “Hosmer type” player, because we’re not contending yet ….the real fear is that fans dont think the owners have the kind of money to pay Myers and pay Hosmer, more money than a franchise has ever given a free agent.

    and I think that a crock of poop. How many times does Peter Seidler have to tell everyone, they have more than enough money to do the things they want to do vis a vis, payroll and budget?

  7. I agree that Hosmer is not a necessity. I think the Padres should only go after free agents with a significant contract when they are in contention and have a critical need. You have Josh Naylor who is in AA and should make his MLB debut in 2019. Also, I would hope the Padres look at converting Austin Allen to 1B.

    1. Yes, that is yet another reason to be flexible with that position (rather than committing the largest contract in team history over 7 years). It is common to find players that hit well, but cannot play a more demanding position. Allen perfectly fits that dynamic. In fact, before the whole Hosmer thing came up in the off season, I was already concerned that Allen would be blocked by Meyers, etc at first base, therefore, the Padres HAD to keep him behind the plate. How much more will he have to stay a position where he cannot adequately play if Hosmer is signed?

  8. The funny thing that I like about this article (and maybe it’s not intended) is that either way, Hosmer is not really necessary right now.

    So Fonzo, no, it’s not about “as good”, just, “as necessary”… and he’s not.

  9. Did I really just read an article trying to make the case that Alex Dickerson is just as good as Eric Hosmer? I guess the slow off-season is affecting bloggers too.

  10. I would say he is in WAA anyways can’t seem to stay healthy. I would still go after Hosmer. Long run way better then Dickerson

  11. I have reservations about Dickerson’s long term health but think giving Hosmer a seven year contract is a bad idea anyway.

    1. I agree with your concerns about the health issues. , but now is the time to find out what we have with Dickerson. Signing Hosmer would relegate him back to AAA. As for signing Hosmer, I applaud the Pads for not caving. I’d like to see us retract the offer, and show him a six year, $100m contract. The smarter franchises (St.Louis, for example) would offer him that type of contract, and tell him to take it or leave it. We can do this with or without Eric Hosmer. I do think we need to focus more on power bats through the draft the next couple years.

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