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American League

Eric Hosmer Taking Leap of Faith in Padres



The long winter of uncertainty concluded earlier this week for Eric Hosmer.  The 28-year old first baseman accepted an eight-year, $144 million contract with the San Diego Padres.  However, Hosmer spent the duration of the offseason in limbo.

Hosmer was drafted by the Royals and spent seven seasons in Kansas City.  He was an instrumental part of the team’s 2015 World Series victory over the New York Mets.  Hosmer won four Gold Gloves and was the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player in 2016.

Yet, a talented, young player in the prime of his career had trouble finding suitors.  The San Diego Padres were the team that had interest in Hosmer from the beginning.  The Padres were reported to have initiated talks between the two sides in November.

Hosmer and his agent Scott Boras obviously expected a bigger market to develop.  Hosmer waited until the start of Spring Training to accept a deal from a team that wasn’t his obvious first choice.  Otherwise, a deal ideally would have been reached between the Padres and Hosmer sooner.

A return to Kansas City was a speculated option for Hosmer.  The Royals didn’t seem interested in committing big money to one player. The Royals have begun what is expected to be a lengthy rebuild.

Despite a 71-91 record in 2017 the San Diego front office believes the Padres are not far from contending.  The Padres have a Farm System that has six players ranked in the Top 50 of’s 2018 Prospect Watch.

San Diego’s current roster is barren aside from players like Wil Myers, Brad Hand, and Manuel Margot.  The Padres face steep competition in the National League West.  The Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Giants all expect to contend for the division crown.

The Padres have only five playoff appearances since the club’s first season in 1969.  They have not appeared in the postseason since 2006.  The organization dismissed manager Bruce Bochy after that season and watched him go to San Francisco to lead the Giants to three World Titles.

The team has appeared in two World Series but lost to two historic teams in the 1984 Detroit Tigers and 1998 New York Yankees.  The great Tony Gwynn wasted away in San Diego as not even he could help this hapless franchise win consistently.  The Padres have had other great’s like Dave Winfield and Trevor Hoffman, but sustained success has not been in the cards for the Friars.

Eric Hosmer’s options were limited within the parameters of the type of deal he wanted and going to San Diego is a risk.  Hosmer surely could’ve taken a pillow deal from a contender and try free agency after the 2018 season.  He chose to take Padres GM A.J. Preller’s word on the Padres being close to contending.

The Padres were close to contending in 2015 when Preller acquired Justin Upton, James Shields, and Craig Kimbrel.  The team flopped and finished the year 74-88.  Preller’s contract was extended this past offseason.

Hosmer is now the jewel of the Padres lineup and should continue to be a productive player for years to come.  Hosmer hopes to be an integral part of changing the losing culture in San Diego.  Hosmer can opt out after five years, so his faith in changing the culture has limits.

The next step is for the Padres to put a team around Hosmer, unless of course Swinging Friar can win 20 games and hit 50 Home Runs.







American League

2019 Trade Deadline Highlights



In a shocking, last-minute deal, Zack Greinke has a new home (CBS Sports).

This year’s Trade Deadline in the MLB wasn’t as boisterous as previous seasons and might rank as one of the less-exciting ones in history. There was still a good number of high-profile moves, however, and a few big names went on to new homes. Here’s a look at the more notable acquisitions of July 31, 2019 and how they will impact the teams that got the big returns.

Blue Jays trade RHP Marcus Stroman to Mets in exchange for RHP Anthony Kay, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson

The move that unofficially kicked off trading season was a bit of a head scratcher. It had long been rumored that Toronto was shopping ace Marcus Stroman, but the team he ended up with isn’t exactly a contender. The Mets are currently four games under .500 and may not be vying for the postseason in 2019. The move is likely another part of the Mets rebuilding process, and since Noah Syndergaard stayed put, New York may have a formidable rotation next season.

Indians acquire LHP Scott Moss, OF Yasiel Puig from Reds and OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and IF Victor Nova from Padres, Padres acquire OF Taylor Trammell from Reds, Indians acquire Reds acquire RHP Trevor Bauer from Indians

The literal biggest trade of the day was a this three-team blockbuster. Trevor Bauer firing the ball over the center field wall on Sunday after he was pulled in the fifth inning ended up being the last pitch he threw in an Indians uniform. A day later the Tribe rid itself of his petulance and pulled off a massive trade with intrastate rival Cincinnati as well as San Diego that saw Bauer go to the Reds and Reds top prospect Taylor Tramell go to the Friars. Cleveland received a host of players from both teams, most namely Yasiel Puig, who is ironically also known as a prima donna.

Though Bauer is undeniably talented when he keeps his act together and bolsters the Reds attempts to trend upward, San Diego may have won the trade with Tramell, MLB’s no. 30 overall prospect.

Rays acquire 1B Jesus Aguilar from Brewers in exchange for RHP Jacob Faria

Milwaukee was certainly brewing before the Deadline and made a commendable effort to improve its pitching. GM David Stearns’ most notable move was a straight swap with the Rays that brought back righty Jacob Faria in exchange for power hitting 1B Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar is having a down year but has proven many times that he can be deadly. He gives the Rays the big bat they’ve been seeking in their hunt for a Wild Card berth.

It’s a good move for both sides because it clears Milwaukee’s infield logjam and gives the team another quality starter. Faria never quite broke out in Tampa Bay but a change of scenery always has potential to pay dividends. After having already gotten Jordan Lyles from Pittsburgh on Monday, the Brewers made another move and got Drew Pomeranz from San Fransisco later on Wednesday. Though none of the returns are big name guys, Milwaukee is serious about making another run after coming so close last year.

Cubs acquire OF Nicholas Castellanos from Tigers in exchange for RHP Alex Lange and RHP Paul Richan.

The Cubs made their chances of taking the NL Central back even better with this move. Nicholas Castellanos has been one of the MLB’s more underrated players in recent years, largely because he was on the Tigers after the team’s glory days of the early 2010s ended. Adding him to a lineup that already includes Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez gives the Cubbies even more firepower, especially given Castellanos success vs. lefty pitchers. It’s also a great move for him personally as he gets to join a contending team at last. The Cubs are vying to appear in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, and their chances look pretty good.

Astros acquire RHP Zack Greinke from Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP JB Bukauskas, IF Josh Rojas and IF Seth Beer

If Houston was scary good before this trade, they’re terrifyingly good now. The Astros just added Zack Greinke to a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in a last-minute deal that wasn’t announced until after the deadline officially passed. Arizona received a package of four minor leaguers in return as the team is now officially in the rebuilding process.

Like Verlander, Greinke is in the second half of his thirties but has not declined at all and owned a 10-4 record with a 2.90 on a sub-par Diamondbacks team at the time of his departure. The six-time All-Star’s presence gives Houston the best rotation in baseball by far and should get the knees of any upcoming opponent knocking. The MLB said it best on Instagram today, “Facing Houston? You have a problem.”

Notable non-moves:

  • After being heavily rumored as top targets, Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner are still members of their longtime teams.
  • The Boston Red Sox, whose bullpen has blown 18 saves, made no moves to improve its relief core, to the amazement of the team’s fanbase.
  • The New York Yankees were thought to be Syndergaard’s top suitor, but the team did not acquire any starting pitching to aid Aaron Boone’s struggling rotation.

What was the biggest move of the deadline this year? Be sure to let us know on Twitter @HomeRunDaily.

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American League

Athletics Acquire Tanner Roark



Tanner Roark

The Oakland Athletics have acquired right hander Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder Jamerson Hannah will be heading to Cincinnati, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, the Reds will pick up $2.1 million of Roark’s remaining salary.

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American League

Astros Acquire Martin Maldonado



Martin Maldonado

The Houston Astros have acquired veteran catcher Martin Maldonado from the Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder/second baseman Tony Kemp will be heading to the Cubs, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome.

Maldonado has posted a .217/.285/.349 slash line this season.

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