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Eric Hosmer Taking Leap of Faith in Padres

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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 MLB.com’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

Yankees’ Luis Severino Alters Diet to Improve Late-Season Energy

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New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino will be entering an important season as he tries to prove that he is a legit ace for a team that bolstered it’s starting rotation this offseason.

And that means a change in his diet.

Severino has altered his diet, cutting a number of snacks, including his favorite twice-fried plantains, out of his diet in an effort to avoid late-season fatigue.

“It’s not easy, it’s tough” Severino said, according to ESPN’s Coley Harvey.

“When you are at the finish line and you feel like you need a little bit more than five days to be ready, you know that something’s going on,” Severino said.

Severino made the decision to change his diet following the Yankees’ Divisional Series lost to World Series Champions the Boston Red Sox.

“Even though I feel like he was certainly healthy, he probably dealt with some fatigue issues with being a young pitcher in this league, and for the second consecutive year kind of getting around that 200-inning standpoint,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

“But in a lot of ways, we saw the normal progression of a young star pitcher. And even though he had some struggles in the second half, he had some flashes where he pitched really well for us, righted the ship a little bit.”

Severino still could be the starter on Opening Day.

“I would say there’s a very good chance of that,” Boone said. “We hadn’t had those kind of conversations exactly yet. But my expectation is that he would be that guy.”

Severino noted that the diet change was hard.

“I hate eating vegetables,” Severino said.


Where I came from, we just eat anything we see in the fridge, fried and fast food,” Severino said. “But we’re eating more vegetables and stuff like that, and get your body going faster and then recover fast. So that’s my main stuff, focusing on my workouts and avoiding doing a lot of weights that maybe make me a lot more tired.”

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American League

Yankees Keeping Tabs on Manny Machado

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Don’t completely count the New York Yankees out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes just yet, because they are simply playing the waiting game.

According to SNY.tv’s Andy Martino, the Yankees are keeping tabs on Machado with the hopes that a golden opportunity arises.

While they aren’t interested in Machado at shortstop, they would play him at third base and move Miguel Andujar to first base should they be able to haul in Machado.

While nothing is imminent, and even though the report states that a deal is unlikely, there is no counting the Yankees out of it just yet as Spring Training approaches.

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American League

Athletics Sign Brett Anderson

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The Oakland Athletics have agreed to terms with left hander Brett Anderson, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.

Anderson is taking a physical on Tuesday.

Anderson pitched to the tune of a 4.48 ERA for the A’s last season.

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