5 former MLB All-Stars who could use a change of scenery

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 12: Eric Hosmer #30 of the San Diego Padres removes his batting gloves after flying out to center field against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 12, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 12: Eric Hosmer #30 of the San Diego Padres removes his batting gloves after flying out to center field against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 12, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer
Jul 27, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer (30) flips his bat after drawing a walk against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

#4: Eric Hosmer of the San Diego Padres

Now the other former Royal you were expecting.

After the 2020 season, things were looking up for Eric Hosmer and the Padres after the big contract they gave him. He had over an .800 OPS for the first time with San Diego at .851 and a WRC+ finally over the league average, and well above it at 128. Hosmer has always been able to make sold contact with the ball, having around or above the league average in average exit velocity. But what made 2020 different was moving up his average launch angle to 8.7 degrees, five points higher than his career average.

Adjusting his swing to get more lift on the ball was all he needed to be an above average first-baseman and he just couldn’t bring that with him into 2021. The Padres seem like they want to move on from Hosmer no matter what, most likely due to the lack of production as well as the money left on his deal for the next four seasons as he is likely to opt-in into the rest of his contract. There seems to be clear way back to a positive season if he can make the adjustments to be his 2020 self.

That leaves him as likely guy to be traded and I think that could be good for Hoz to take some pressure off. Three places that could trade for him are the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Atlanta is here in case they are unable to bring Freddie Freeman back as that leaves them with a big hole at first base. There are other options out there that could work instead of Hoz, but I feel like they would be able to acquire for fairly cheap. This could also be a way to ship off Marcell Ozuna if San Diego is willing to the baggage with him.

The Angels need all the hitting help they can get to surround their big three with at least average hitters. This would be a way to move on from Justin Upton. I doubt the Padres want him, but at least you only pay him for his season and you are done rather than $13 million a season through 2025 that Hosmer is owed. L.A. does have Jared Walsh at first, but I am uncertain if he will continue to play at the same level. If Hoz can be his 2020 self, then they have a great fit.

I know this is a weird choice but honestly could be interesting for Arizona. If they are looking to try and run it back to push for the playoffs, then the good version of Hosmer helps them do that. They do not have a lot of salary on the books other than Bumgarner so they can take on his high salary this season. Christian Walker was not good in 2021 and hopefully Seth Beer will be able to slot in at DH.

Milwaukee is the wild option here. They are out from under Lorenzo Cain’s money after this season and then they really don’t have anything other than Christian Yelich. Hosmer only makes $13 million from 2023 through 2025 instead of $21 million he makes this year. It is contingent on the NL bringing in the DH as Rowdy Tellez could be moved there and then Hoz is a better option defensively to play first. Milwaukee doesn’t like bringing in too much salary, so that, along with the potential for Hosmer returning to form, prevents this from happening.