Colorado Rockies: the case for getting Eric Hosmer

DETROIT, MI - JULY 26: Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates after scoring against the Detroit Tigers during the third inning at Comerica Park on July 26, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 26: Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates after scoring against the Detroit Tigers during the third inning at Comerica Park on July 26, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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One of the most interesting free agents this offseason will be 28 year old Eric Hosmer. The former Royals first baseman will garner significant interest from many teams as the Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, Royals, Mariners, and Padres all have a need at first base. Another team that could have a need is the Colorado Rockies. Last season, the Rockies went with Mark Reynolds for most of the season and Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra each played at first a little bit. However, Hosmer could really help the Rockies long term.

Eric Hosmer is just turned 28 years old last month and, in part because of his age, he is one of the top free agents on the market. The first baseman spent his first seven seasons in a Kansas City Royals uniform and, particularly, in the last three seasons, he had excellent seasons. If the Rockies were to sign him, he would be an excellent addition for a few reasons.

Offense

Since 2015, he has averaged 159 games a season (so he is durable) and he has averaged 23 home runs and 95 RBI. He has also averaged 92 runs, 177 hits, 29 doubles, and an offensive slash line of .294/.359/.463. Mind you, this is with half of his games played at Kauffman Stadium, a notorious pitcher’s park.

Defensively

Hosmer is viewed as one of the best defenders in the American League. He has won a Gold Glove in four of the past five seasons (2013-2015, 2017) but looking at the numbers, they defy his Gold Gloves as they are at league average or a bit below. However, in means of Gold Gloves, the Rockies infield would have three Gold Glovers from last season. Trevor Story would be the only non-Gold Glove award winner and even then, he had 11 Defensive Runs Saved, according to Baseball Reference.

Postseason Experience

The Rockies made the the postseason for the first time since 2009 last season. Hosmer, with the Royals, appeared 31 postseason games between 2014 and 2015 as the Royals went to the World Series in each of those years (including a World Series win in 2015). In those 31 games, Hosmer went 34-for-123 (a .276 batting average). He has three home runs and 29 RBI (yes, 29) in those games. He also has 12 walks in that span as well.

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What a contract for him could look like?

With Hosmer just turning 28, he is just reaching the prime of his career. With playing 81 games in Coors Field a season, his offensive numbers would probably skyrocket. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit 35-40 home runs with 120 RBI.

However, with his young age, he will demand a longer-term contract. MLB Trade Rumors said that Hosmer was the 3rd best free agent on the market and predicted in early November that he would resign with the Royals on a six year, $132 million contract. However, considering that the Royals were under .500 last year, have virtually no pitching, and lost Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jason Vargas, and Alcides Escobar to free agency, I would doubt that they resign him (even though MLB Trade Rumors believed that the Royals would resign Hosmer in early November).

On Monday, on MLB Network, Ken Rosenthal (who is also with The Athletic) said on the MLB Network morning show, Hot Stove, that he would not be surprised if Hosmer gets an eight-year deal because of his age. Personally, I don’t think that he will get an eight-year deal because clubs seem to be shying away from really long contracts but if it were to happen for anyone, it would be Hosmer.

Final Thoughts

If I had to give Hosmer a contract, I would probably go for a six-year, $120 million contract. I’d be willing to go to $140 million. That be an average of of $20-$23.33 million per year. It would be a hefty price to pay but, for a 28 year old, the contract would go through his age 33 season so, essentially, you’d be getting Hosmer for his prime years.

Next: Why Giancarlo Stanton should become a Rockie

With the need, offense, defense, postseason experience, and age, Hosmer could be a very good fit for the Rockies.

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