The San Diego Padres‘ decision to sign Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal — really a five-year deal for $105 million with a three-year player option for another $39 million at the end — is the most inexplicable move of the offseason. Not only does it overvalue Hosmer’s production, it adds a player who doesn’t fit the Padres’ current or long-term needs, and bumps one of their better players to a position where he’s going to be a problem defensively.
Hosmer’s major league career has never lived up to the expectations everyone, myself included, had for him when he was a prospect. He was No. 3 on my draft board in 2008, and rose as high as No. 3 in my offseason prospect rankings before he made his major league debut in 2011. He was a two-way player in high school, throwing up to 94 mph off the mound, while also providing big power and a very good idea at the plate, athletic enough that he might be able to move to right field, with 30-homer potential that would let him profile at any position.
Predictions and updates for every top remaining MLB free agent
Glacial. Snail’s pace. Tortoise-like. Pick your favorite metaphor for slow, and that will aptly describe the free-agent market of the 2020-21 MLB offseason.
Some numbers to paint that picture: The free-agent tracker at Baseball Reference lists three-year WAR totals for all the players who have signed with a new team, re-signed with their old team or accepted their old team’s qualifying offer. Through Jan. 12, 158 players have signed worth a collective 78 three-year WAR. Meanwhile, the tracker lists another 253 players who have yet to sign. The aggregate WAR three-year WAR totals for those players is 480.
In other words, nearly all the good stuff remains on the market, available to the highest (or most alluring) bidder. We are only about a month away from the first tentatively scheduled spring training reporting dates which means at a time when we are supposed to be taking stock of the completed offseason transaction rush, we are instead still waiting around for it to actually begin.
As we wait for news about where all of these players wind up, ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle, David Schoenfield and Jesse Rogers take a snapshot on where things stand for the top players still available. That list includes the top six players from Kiley McDaniel’s initial free-agent rankings.
There are All-Star players to be had and as we reach the middle of January, the hot stove clock is tick, tick, ticking away.
San Francisco Giants sign LHP Alex Wood to one-year, $3 million contract
Wood, who turned 30 on Tuesday, can make up to an additional $3 million in performance bonuses for the number of games in which he gets 10 or more outs: $125,000 each for 12 and 14 games, $250,000 apiece for 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24, and $500,000 each for 26, 28 and 30.
An All-Star in 2017, Wood went 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA in two starts and seven relief appearances last year with National League West rival Los Angeles, striking out 15 in 12 2/3 innings. He earned $1,481,481 in prorated pay from a $4 million salary. He pitched two perfect innings in the Dodgers’ title-winning Game 6 World Series victory over Tampa Bay.
Right-handed reliever Mychal Givens, Colorado Rockies agree to 1-year, $4.05M contract
Colorado acquired Givens in a deal with Baltimore on Aug. 30. He allowed at least a run in five of 10 appearances for the Rockies.
Givens appeared in 12 games for the Orioles before the trade and allowed two runs over 13 innings. Combined, he was 1-1 with a 3.61 ERA with Colorado and Baltimore.
He turns 31 on May 13.
Givens was selected by the Orioles in the second round of the 2009 amateur draft. He is 21-17 with a 3.41 ERA and 21 saves over 345⅓ innings during his career. Givens was due to make $3,225,000 in 2020 and his prorated salary wound up at $1,194,444.
Six Rockies remain eligible to exchange proposed arbitration salaries on Friday: right-handers Carlos Estevez, Jon Gray and Robert Stephenson, left-hander Kyle Freeland, second baseman Ryan McMahon and outfielder Raimel Tapia.
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