San Diego Padres: 69.5 wins
- Baseball Prospectus: 73 wins
- FanGraphs: 72 wins
Signing Eric Hosmer was a nice move by the Padres to bring in an established All-Star and proven winner to help lead the rising prospects back to relevancy. The move makes sense, and is similar to the Washington Nationals paying big money to Jayson Werth when they were still a few years away from contending. There’s plenty of risk involved in handing out eight years to a first baseman, but a team like the Padres — which has never been able to establish a consistent winner — has to pay a little extra.
Hosmer won’t do much to make the Padres better in the short term, and the San Francisco Giants will be much improved in 2018. San Diego went 12-7 against their rivals from the Bay Area last year while winning 71 games overall. Best-case scenario, the Padres are looking at eight or nine wins against the Giants this year.
The Padres scored the fewest runs in the National League last year and had the second-worst OPS. Hosmer alone won’t do much to elevate the offense out of the bottom-five in the league. San Diego has to have a better year from Wil Myers and see continued growth from center fielder Manuel Margot before the offense can be viewed as anything but below average.
Conclusion: In a division with four solid lineups above them, the Padres young pitching staff is going to continue getting roughed up on a nightly basis. It’s going to be a painful year or two for Hosmer while he waits for the hot-lava prospects. This team could lose 95 games.