Red Sox basically get upgrade at first base for free

By trading for Eric Hosmer, the Boston Red Sox managed to upgrade at first base practically for free because the Padres are picking up his salary.

On MLB trade deadline day, Eric Hosmer nearly blew up the Padres pursuit of Juan Soto from the Nationals when he refused to head to Washington.

The Red Sox were the ultimate winners of that power move.

Boston worked out a deal to add Hosmer and prospects Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome and cash considerations.

Eric Hosmer trade: Red Sox basically get upgrade at first base for free

That cash is a huge deal because, according to the Associate Press, the Padres are covering up to $43.5 million of Hosmer’s contract. The Red Sox will be responsible for paying him the league minimum, which comes to $246,154 for the rest of this season, $720,000 in 2023, $740,000 in 2024 and $760,000 in 2025.

That’s the equivalent of pennies for a four-time Gold Glove first baseman.

Sure, Hosmer isn’t at the All-Star level that landed him the lucrative contract in San Diego. That doesn’t mean he has nothing to give this Red Sox team which has been crying out for a defensive presence at first base.

Bringing in Hosmer allows Boston to take Bobby Dalbec out of the firing line when he’s struggling, as he has this year.

Moreover, Hosmer is a veteran who has a good reputation with teammates and, in the words of Rob Bradford on NESN, brings “an edge” that can spur on the Red Sox.

If it doesn’t work out, Boston gave up practically nothing and can cut bait without much pain. If it does work out, it’ll be seen as a hugely savvy move.

Manager Alex Cora told reporters the plan is for Hosmer to see plenty of action in Boston. He’ll take over at first base soon enough.