The MLB hot stove appears to be finally warming up with teams offering big free-agent names hefty contracts. One name that has pertinence to the St. Louis Cardinals is first baseman Eric Hosmer.
The Kansas City Royals offered Hosmer to return as their first baseman on a 7 year, $147 million contract. The San Diego Padres had previously offered Hosmer a 7 year, $140 million deal.
Hosmer enjoyed a career year in 2017, where he hit .318 with 25 home runs and 94 runs batted in. The Royals and Padres appear to be the only teams to have offered Hosmer formal offers according to public knowledge. That makes Kansas City and San Diego the favorites to land the first baseman.
That doesn’t mean the Cardinals are out of the running for Hosmer. They certainly have the resources to match or exceed the price tag for Hosmer; it all comes down to whether or not they want to commit to him for a certain price.
Hosmer is a client of renowned agent Scott Boras, who is looking to land Hosmer a $200 million deal this offseason. Given that Hosmer’s two best offers known to be on the table are both less than $150 million, the Cardinals and Boras are likely to remain in communication in the coming days.
If Hosmer can replicate his 2017 season for years to come, you almost have to consider going for it if you’re the Cardinals. But there’s no guarantee Hosmer won’t slide back to his respectable, but not as outstanding, career averages.
The Cardinals would have room for Hosmer in their everyday lineup, but signing the first baseman would require some movement on the diamond. Matt Carpenter could shift back to either third base or second base, splitting time with Jedd Gyorko or Kolten Wong.
The Cardinals are also rumored to be involved in trade discussions with the Toronto Blue Jays about Josh Donaldson. If St. Louis were to trade for Donaldson or sign another third baseman, it would likely mean the team would not pursue Hosmer as well.
At the same time, the Cardinals do want to add another impact bat before spring training begins, and third and first base are the two positions most likely for St. Louis to pursue. That means Hosmer is not out of the question for the Cardinals.