Hearing about your favorite team signing a big free agent or trading for a new player is can be one of the most exciting part about being a baseball fan. So, too, is hearing that player's first public comments after joining their new team.
Milwaukee Brewers fans got to experience the former recently when the Crew signed Rhys Hoskins, the top first baseman on the market, to a free agent deal last week. The latter came today when both he and members of the team took time to speak to the media via Zoom.
Players are expected to say all the right things when they first speak to the local media and the same was true for Hoskins on Monday. But there were still a couple things that he said during that session that should be encouraging to Brewers fans.
Here are two encouraging quotes from Rhys Hoskins' initial comments after signing with the Brewers.
The first quote that should encourage Brewers fans has to do with Hoskins' availability for the upcoming season. Per this piece from MLB.com Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, the first baseman will be good to go coming off of a serious injury.
"By the time I get to Arizona for spring -- I’m sure I’ll be eased back in because it’s been a year since I’ve been on the field, but I really should have little to no limitations once the games start, which is exciting for me. I’ll be stoked to get on the field."- Rhys Hoskins via Adam McCalvy, MLB.com
Hoskins is coming back from an ACL injury that wiped out his entire 2023 season but was practicing with the Phillies during their playoff run and may have had a chance to be activated if the team had gone deeper in the playoffs. Still, it would be fair for fans to question whether Hoskins would be ready to go for Milwaukee by Opening Day.
That injury always made it likely that Hoskins would sign a shorter "prove it" deal for 2024, part of what made him a good match for a team like the Brewers. According to Hoskins, per this post on X by Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, there was another reason the two sides made a good fit as well.
"Rhys Hoskins on what he was looking for in his free agency: 'I wanted a chance to win.'"- Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Why should that quote excite Brewers fans? Hoskins, a free agent, looked at the Brewers and thought it fit one of his priorities of having a chance to win. So even from the outside, other players are able to see the potential that lies in the Milwaukee roster. With some additional tweaks, like adding Hoskins, a repeat division crown could be within their grasp.
The free agent deal for Hoskins is one of the bigger ones the Brewers have made. After today's comments, you'll be forgiven for getting even more encouraged about it.