ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Padres have indeed checked in with the camp of free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, but it appears that's mostly due diligence at this point.According to a source, San Diego has inquired on "around 50 free agents" already, the majority being pitchers. Discussions are still preliminary, as
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Padres have indeed checked in with the camp of free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, but it appears that's mostly due diligence at this point.
According to a source, San Diego has inquired on "around 50 free agents" already, the majority being pitchers. Discussions are still preliminary, as the General Managers Meetings wrapped up on Wednesday.
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Hosmer, the best available free-agent first baseman, was easily the biggest rumor surrounding the Padres at this week's Meetings. San Diego's interest was first reported by MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal.
Hosmer is coming off a year in which he batted .318/.385/.498 for the Royals with 25 homers and an American League Gold Glove Award. Among the offseason's biggest free agents, Hosmer, 28, is one of the few whose career trajectory might mesh with the Padres' plan to contend in 2019 and beyond. Still, his fit in San Diego seems somewhat strange, considering the club committed six years and $83 million to William Myers last offseason.
And while Myers could conceivably shift back to the outfield, where he spent his first three big league seasons, it's unclear whether the Padres would pony up for Hosmer. The former World Series winner could command a nine-figure deal, which would be the largest in club history.
In any case, pitching is clearly the Padres' top priority this offseason. Evidently, they're leaving no stone unturned in the free-agent market.
General manager A.J. Preller has expressed a desire to sign at least two more big league-caliber starters, and a reunion with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin seems possible. The Padres will be looking to add in the 'pen as well.
As for his week in Orlando, Preller said it was a positive one, even though no trades or signings are imminent. That's not rare for the GM Meetings, where front offices typically lay the groundwork for future deals.
"You're just gathering more info to set yourself up for the rest of the offseason, and we definitely did that," Preller said "You get to sit down with all 30 teams and learn some things, learn who might be interested in some guys. It was productive."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.