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Deal official, Padres unveil Hosmer

Battles for bullpen jobs, backup first baseman role begin
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres introduced Eric Hosmer, their new first baseman, in a news conference Tuesday at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Hosmer, who agreed with the Padres on an eight-year contract that includes an opt-out clause after five seasons, passed his physical on Monday in Arizona.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres introduced Eric Hosmer, their new first baseman, in a news conference Tuesday at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Hosmer, who agreed with the Padres on an eight-year contract that includes an opt-out clause after five seasons, passed his physical on Monday in Arizona.

Spring Training information

Hosmer's pending arrival already had the Padres' clubhouse abuzz. Left-hander Matt Strahm, Hosmer's former teammate, is well aware of the impact Hosmer can make on a young team.

Video: Preller on excitement over Padres signing Hosmer

"The type of dude he is, he gets along with everyone," Strahm said. "He relates with everyone, which is awesome. He's very approachable. I don't know how to explain it, but what he's got is something I've never seen. I'm excited to have him here and can't wait to get going."

Tweet from @Padres: IT���S OFFICIAL! The #Padres have signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year contract: https://t.co/UsgyvK5TIU pic.twitter.com/OUQ5Yzso5p

Hosmer batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers last season. He was a fan favorite in Kansas City, having helped lead a once-rebuilding club to consecutive American League pennants and the 2015 World Series title. He's been touted as a leader on a young Royals ballclub, and the Padres are hoping for more of the same in San Diego, where he'll wear No. 30. His number in Kansas City, 35, is retired for 1976 National League Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones.

Tweet from @AJCassavell: I'm told Eric Hosmer will wear No. 30 to honor his late teammate Yordano Ventura.

"He works hard and he's a vocal presence in the clubhouse," said right-hander Chris Young, who was also part of that 2015 Royals team. "He's both. He's everything a teammate could be. He'll be a great addition."

Team officials had refrained from commenting publicly until the deal was finalized. But the club had already set the wheels in motion for Hosmer's arrival.

Wil Myers, who agreed to move from first base to clear room for Hosmer, is taking reps in the outfield. Jose Pirela, meanwhile, will see increased playing time at second base, with fewer outfield at-bats to go around.

Bullpen battle begins

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Field 1 saw four rounds of live batting practice Monday, featuring four pitchers on the 40-man roster -- none of whom have secured a place in the Padres bullpen.

Kyle McGrath, Phil Maton, Colten Brewer and Jose Castillo all faced live hitters Monday morning. They're due for one more round of live BP before pitching in Cactus League play (probably as early as Sunday).

As it stands, the Padres have four pitchers assured of their place in the bullpen -- Brad Hand, Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates and Kazuhisa Makita. That leaves either three or four places available, with about 10 names set to compete for those spots.

Backup first-base race still open

Hosmer will be the Padres' starting first baseman -- of that there is little question. But it remains to be seen who will serve behind Hosmer at first base.

Myers and Chase Headley have plenty of experience there. Longtime first baseman Allen Craig, who is in camp on a non-roster invite, is another option. For now, however, it's unclear who gets reps behind Hosmer at first.

"We'll have some versatility on the roster with guys who have been at first base before and can bounce back there at any point in time," manager Andy Green said.

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

San Diego Padres, Allen Craig, Chase Headley, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers