Brewers Make Big Splash, Sign Top Free Agent 1B Target Rhys Hoskins To Contract

The Brewers address first base in a big way
World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three
World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers have finally pulled the trigger on their marquee free agent move this offseason, signing free agent first baseman Rhys Hoskins to a two year contract.

ESPN's Jeff Passan was first to report that the Brewers had signed Rhys Hoskins to a two year, $34MM contract with an opt out after the first season. This essentially makes it a one year contract where Hoskins can re-enter free agency if he has a strong season and look for a longer-term deal.

Hoskins missed the 2023 season with a torn ACL he suffered in spring training. Heading into free agency, that made him an ideal target for a short-term contract to reset his value in a showcase year and the Brewers were the perfect pairing.

The Brewers finally solve their first base problem, signing the biggest bat on the market in Rhys Hoskins.

Hoskins is a career .242 hitter with an .846 OPS and a 125 OPS+ over his six seasons. He has yet to have a full season that was not Covid-shortened with fewer than 27 homers. Last year, the Brewers home run leader was Willy Adames with 24 long balls.

The Brewers needed to add power to the heart of their lineup and they've done just that with Hoskins. He fills an important position of need at first base, adds power, and he's on an affordable short term contract that doesn't block the young prospects coming up at the corners.

This whole offseason, the Brewers have been waiting out the first base market. They traded for Jake Bauers but he never felt like a legitimate option as the starting first baseman. Several players were out on the market, including Carlos Santana, Justin Turner, Garrett Cooper, CJ Cron, and Hoskins. Hoskins was far and away the best of the group and his openness to a short-term contract to prove his health coming off an ACL tear made him a prime target for the Brewers front office.

Hoskins is able to get a two year guarantee if things don't pan out in his first year, but if he bounces back from his ACL tear and plays well, he has the ability to opt out following the 2024 season and re-enter the free agent market. The Brewers are likely expecting that to be the case.

Two days before the anniversary of the Christian Yelich trade and Lorenzo Cain signing, the Brewers bring in another huge free agent addition with Rhys Hoskins. This Brewers offense has been totally upgraded and the biggest need on this roster has been addressed.