Hosmer is Boston-bound after rejecting DC trade

Red Sox get veteran 1B, two prospects, cash in exchange for former first-rounder Groome

August 3rd, 2022

HOUSTON -- The reconfiguration of the Red Sox continued ahead of Tuesday's 6 p.m. ET Trade Deadline as chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom struck a deal with the Padres to acquire a veteran first baseman with a championship pedigree in Eric Hosmer, the team announced.

Hosmer, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, instantly upgrades a position for the Red Sox in which they’ve gotten minimal offense and shaky defense this season. Boston also received infielder Max Ferguson (who becomes its No. 30 prospect), outfielder Corey Rosier and cash while sending Jay Groome (previously its No. 11 prospect) back to San Diego.

Ferguson was the Padres' No. 11 prospect and Rosier their 26th at the time of the deal. Groome slots in at No. 11 for San Diego.

Red Sox get
: 1B Eric Hosmer, 2B Max Ferguson (Padres' No. 11 prospect), OF Corey Rosier (Padres' No. 26 prospect), cash

Padres get: LHP Jay Groome (Red Sox No. 11 prospect)

While the deal for Hosmer was big news, it was perhaps just as newsworthy that the Red Sox held on to a pair of veterans who were rumored to be available. A day after core veteran Christian Vázquez was dealt to the Astros, Bloom declined to trade two other key players in the walk year of their contracts -- DH J.D. Martinez and righty starter Nathan Eovaldi.

“I’m excited,” said Martinez. “I think it’s a relief off of everybody. We’ll see what happens. We got a couple of more pieces. Everybody got a little bit stronger so we have to step up a little bit.”

The Red Sox entered the day at 52-52, three games back in the American League Wild Card standings. Their position comes after an injury-marred and disappointing July in which the club went 8-19.

In essence, Bloom’s actions on Tuesday backed up what he said on Monday night -- that his goal is still to get the Red Sox into the playoffs despite the trade of Vázquez to the Astros for two prospects.

“I think there’s a lot of different things we were trying to accomplish. We wanted to give this group a chance at the postseason,” said Bloom. “I do think they have that chance. People who felt this group was good enough to make a run at it a few days ago, in my opinion, should still feel that way. This group looks a little different, but I don’t think it’s any less talented.”

The left-handed-hitting Hosmer is known for his leadership, which he demonstrated on the big stage with the Royals in back-to-back appearances in the World Series, including winning it all in 2015 against the Mets.

“We have struggled to find stability at the first base position this year and we think Eric will provide that,” said Bloom. “I think he’s going to be helpful between the lines and in the clubhouse and we’re excited to get him here. I think he’s going to really enjoy our environment. I think he’s going to love Fenway Park and hopefully he can help us make a push.”

The Padres, according to a source, are sending $44 million to the Red Sox to cover the bulk of Hosmer’s salary that he is due from the rest of this season through 2023-25. Boston will only have to pay him the minimum.

And though the Red Sox’s most advanced hitting prospect, Triston Casas, is also a left-handed hitter who plays first base, it’s reasonable to think that Hosmer and Casas could essentially share the first-base and DH slots in the future, given that Martinez is a free agent at the end of the season.

“This doesn’t mean anything as far as how we feel about him or his future and what he can accomplish,” said Bloom. “We think he’s going to be a huge part of our future. Just one more thing that allows us to do right by him and let him develop at his own pace.”

It has been a whirlwind couple of days for Bloom, who dealt Vázquez, acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Reds and dealt lefty reliever Jake Diekman to the White Sox for catcher Reese McGuire.

Pham was in the lineup for the Red Sox on Tuesday, playing left field. Alex Verdugo will play right field going forward when Pham is also playing. 

Earlier on Tuesday, it seemed Hosmer could be on the move to the Nationals as part of the Juan Soto blockbuster. However, the Nats were on Hosmer’s no-trade list, paving the way for him to end up in Boston.

“I always feel for players when these things play out in real time in the rumor mill,” said Bloom. “I don’t think it’s really fair to them but it is the nature of our world today and I think the whole world got to see that play out. And the specific opportunity that led to us getting Eric really happened fairly quickly today.” 

A durable “gamer” who has played 150 games or more in eight seasons, Hosmer has a slash line of .272/.336/.391 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 90 games this season.

Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero have split first-base duties for Boston this season. Cordero, who made three errors in a game last week at Fenway Park, was optioned to Triple-A Worcester prior to Tuesday’s game.

The Red Sox will now have a sure-handed first baseman who can hold his own offensively, not to mention plenty of big-game experience.