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Friars on Hosmer: 'I couldn't be more excited'

San Diego clubhouse features multiple former Royals, who rave about new first baseman
February 18, 2018

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Austin Hedges was fast asleep Saturday night, when his phone buzzed. Then it buzzed again. And then it buzzed again. He couldn't ignore it much longer.So Hedges picked the phone up and read the news -- that the Padres had an agreement in place with free-agent first

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Austin Hedges was fast asleep Saturday night, when his phone buzzed. Then it buzzed again. And then it buzzed again. He couldn't ignore it much longer.
So Hedges picked the phone up and read the news -- that the Padres had an agreement in place with free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, an eight-year deal as reported by MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
Hedges didn't get much sleep after that.
"I couldn't be more excited," Hedges said Sunday morning. "I've been excited ever since the rumor started spreading in [November] that we even had the possibility of signing him. ... Obviously, the guy puts up numbers every year, and he's a stud. But from a leadership standpoint, teammate standpoint, how he plays first base, he's the whole package. He's exactly the type of person we want here."
• Source: Padres, Hosmer agree to 8-year deal

That sentiment rang throughout a particularly buoyant Padres clubhouse on Sunday morning.
In the eyes of reliever Matt Strahm, who spent two seasons as Hosmer's teammate in Kansas City, it won't be the last time Hosmer's presence is felt there.
"I've never seen a guy walk into a clubhouse and just change the mood like [Hosmer] would over in Kansas City," said Strahm. "He gets along with everyone, and he can relate to everyone, which is awesome. I'm really excited to have him and really excited to get the season going."

No Padres player has been affected by the Hosmer signing more than William Myers. The club has asked Myers -- once the franchise first baseman in San Diego -- to transition to the outfield.
• Hosmer's arrival will reshape outfield, lineup
Nonetheless, Myers was among the most exhilarated Padres at the prospect of the signing, and he readily accepted the positional change. He first met Hosmer at instructional ball in the Royals' farm system in 2009. Hosmer hit third and Myers hit fourth during their brief stint together in Class A Advanced Wilmington in 2010. If it meant clearing room for Hosmer, Myers was more than willing to shift to a corner-outfield spot.
So what, exactly, is it about Hosmer that has the club so energized?

"Besides being a good player?" Myers said with a wry grin. "He's great in the clubhouse. He'll get along with anyone. ... Who he is as a person, I think he's going to fit right into what we're doing here in San Diego."
• Hot Stove Tracker
Christopher Young has seen that firsthand. Along with Hosmer, Young helped bring a World Series championship to Kansas City in 2015, and he spoke to Hosmer's immense impact on that group.
"He's one of my all-time favorite teammates," Young said. "He's a great guy, great attitude, he brings competitiveness, a fire, but also that child spirit in the clubhouse where you can relate to everyone, have fun, joke around. He has a way of connecting with everyone on the team."

News and notes
• Reliever Kirby Yates twisted his ankle and is being held out of fielding drills. The Padres don't view the injury as a long-term concern, and Yates was able to throw his bullpen session as scheduled on Sunday.
• Right-hander Jacob Nix, the club's No. 14 prospect, has been sidelined with "a lower-leg injury," according to Padres manager Andy Green. There's no timetable on a return, but Green said his absence was precautionary.
• Right-hander Tyson Ross faced hitters for the first time this spring on Sunday. He's drawn rave reviews for the freeness in his delivery, and Ross acknowledged he's feeling much better than he did during a pair of injury plagued seasons in 2016-17.
"Time heals all wounds," Ross said. "It took a while to recover from that [shoulder] surgery. Having a full offseason to get strong, work on throwing, mechanical work -- I feel great."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.