BOSTON (CBS) — Eric Hosmer is ready to cash in as a free agent, and the Red Sox are reportedly going to come calling.
The Royals first baseman is set to become a free agent in the offseason, and the Red Sox are expected to be among the teams targeting him, according to a report by FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. With Mitch Moreland departing via free agency and Hanley Ramirez expected to continue to be the starting DH, the Red Sox will be in the market for a first baseman. Hosmer would represent the best possible free-agent acquisition at the position.
Hosmer, 28, would immediately become one of the most experienced Red Sox in terms of the postseason. He’d be the only player other than Dustin Pedroia to have won even a single World Series championship, as he reached the top of the mountain with the Royals in 2015.
The first baseman’s .732 career OPS in the postseason is unimpressive on paper, but there’s no questioning the clubhouse leadership that Hosmer brought to the Royals. He would certainly fill that void on the Red Sox, who lacked in that department following the departure of David Ortiz. He’s also a well-rounded player who would play similarly good defense to Moreland, while representing an upgrade on offense.
While Hosmer is a .284 career hitter, he has slugged only .439 and would not necessarily solve the Red Sox’ issue of power in the middle of the lineup. Hitting in the friendly confines of Fenway Park for half the season, Hosmer could crack 30-plus homers for the first time in his career, but he’s not the kind of traditional power bat that the team lacked in 2017. The Red Sox finished last in the American League (27th in the major leagues) in longballs during the 2017 regular season with 168.
Adding Hosmer would solve a lot of problems for the Red Sox and likely improve the clubhouse culture, but for an uptick in power they will almost certainly have to look elsewhere.