The Milwaukee Brewers need some help at first base, and rumor has it that there is a well-known first baseman available for trade at the Trade Deadline.
The San Diego Padres are rumored to be looking to cut cap space after making a deal for Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier.
Currently sitting an estimated $2MM over the competitive balance tax threshold, the Padres are discussing trading their starting first baseman Eric Hosmer, per Ken Rosenthal. Could the Milwaukee Brewers be a fit for the former all star?
The Milwaukee Brewers have been notorious for being pretty tight when it comes to player salaries and the team’s budget, however the 2021 Brewers are shaping up to be one of the best teams in franchise history led by their three headed rotation monster of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta. What the Milwaukee Brewers need is consistent hitting and consistent defense from the first base and center field positions.
The Milwaukee Brewers may be getting some relief in center field as soon as today if the reports that Lorenzo Cain will be back with the team in Pittsburgh, a series that kicks off Tuesday night. Also, the recently elevated play of Tyrone Taylor breathed life into a Brewers offense that faced some tough pitching against the Chicago White Sox this past weekend.
Eric Hosmer has had his own struggles at the plate in 2021, slashing just .266/.330/.381, making him a prime buy-low type player on a less-than-desirable contract that runs through 2025. However, there are reasons to believe that Hosmer could make improvements should he find himself playing for the Milwaukee Brewers.
First, American Family Field is a much more hitter friendly ball park than Petco Park. Second, in his last 15 games, Eric Hosmer is slashing .341/.431/.545, so he’s on the uptick. Grabbing a more consistent bat while also getting a defensive upgrade (Hosmer is a 4x gold glover) who is trending up at the plate, could finally give the Brewers some much needed security at first base, something the Brewers haven’t had in all of 2021.
Another aspect Eric Hosmer could help out the Brewers in is strikeouts, Hosmer strikes out just 16.6% of his at bats, Rowdy Tellez is currently striking out 20.4% of at bats, Daniel Vogelbach when healthy strikes out 21.2% of his at bats and Keston Hiura sits at an alarming 38.7%.
With the $20 million salary he carries, Eric Hosmer likely shouldn’t require the package that a player like Trevor Story would command as the value for the Padres would be salary cap relief. Combined with Hosmer’s relatively poor play this year, he’s a negative trade asset that the Padres might have to pair a prospect with to move. Starting in 2023, his yearly salary drops to just $13MM a year, which isn’t as much of a barrier for Milwaukee. But his 2022 salary of $20.8MM is concerning.
Another barrier to a potential trade deadline deal is Hosmer’s no-trade clause, which includes the Brewers.
Whether Hosmer has a personal reason he doesn’t want to join Milwaukee, or he just didn’t expect the Brewers to contend this year, he can still waive that no-trade clause to come to Milwaukee if he wants to. But odds are he doesn’t even want to leave San Diego at all, now that they’re finally a good team. So going through the process of needing his approval may sink any chance of deal, anyways.
While there haven’t been any concrete links of Eric Hosmer and the Milwaukee Brewers, Hosmer does seem like he could be a good fit if he can be acquired at the right price and he can keep up his recent offensive pace.
This would be a difficult and complicated deal to pull off, but it would provide a long-term answer at first base for the Brewers.
Betting odds in Las Vegas also feature the Milwaukee Brewers as potential suitors for Max Scherzer (15/4) and division rival Kris Bryant (4/1), one thing is for sure, the Brewers will be active leading up to Friday’s trade deadline.