Padres' Low on Eric Hosmer in Trade Talks: Mets, Cubs Linked Together
April 3, 2022
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the New York Mets have decided against a deal with the San Diego Padres that would have brought the first baseman Eric Hosmer and pitcher Chris Paddack to the Mets. According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Padres wanted to make the trade, but the Mets ultimately decided against it.
With less than a week until the start of the 2022 season, the San Diego Padres are reported "deep in trade talks" for first baseman Eric Hosmer. The Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets are two of the teams engaging in the talks. According to Dennis Lin and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, one of the rumored offers is for Hosmer and Paddack to go to the Mets in exchange for outfielder Dominic Smith.
Full trade details of the failed trade:
- 1B is given to the Mets. RHP Eric Hosmer Emilio Pagan, RHP, Chris Paddack, $30 million.
- 1B is given to the Cubs. Dominic Smith is a writer and a musician.
Trading Hosmer would cause complex matters
The Padres were willing to pay a major amount of Hosmer's contract, which has four years and $59 million left on it, to expedite the transaction. The Mets were rumored to be interested in trading Hosmer, but his contract includes a full no-move clause after the initial deal, which would have complicated matters.
Hosmer, 32, has spent four seasons with the Padres, and the team has been speculated to be interested in offloading his payroll for some time. As Sherman points out, the inclusion of Hosmer and the rest of his remaining deal would have made the 2022 Mets the first team in MLB history to have a payroll of $300 million or more, even before it was known Padres would contribute cash. The move would also have put the Mets in the new top tier of luxury tax penalties, which are part of the new collective bargaining agreement and appear to be aimed at Mets owner Steve Cohen's spending habits.
Hosmer has a 102 OPS+ with the Padres, which is below-average productivity for a first baseman. Because the Mets already had Pete Alonso at first base, Hosmer's addition would not have been seamless. Robinson Canó, a left-handed hitter like Hosmer, is expected to be the starting designated hitter. Canó, on the other hand, is 39 years old and missed the entire 2017 season after testing positive for a banned substance, so the Mets may have reservations about his ability to contribute at this stage of his career. In reality, the Mets would have taken on Hosmer and his deal primarily to acquire Paddack's rotation aid.
Injuries as point of concern for Paddack
Paddack, meantime, is a command-and-control specialist with remarkable credentials and outcomes. On the flipside, injuries have been an issue, and he's only average when it comes to running defense. The Mets' interest in Paddack was most likely sparked by ace Jacob deGrom's newest injury concerns (a stress response in his scapula), which will keep him out for the majority of the 2022 season.
Smith would have replaced Hosmer's left-handed bat in the Padres' lineup and also been able to man an outfield corner on occasion. Smith struggled at the plate in 2021. He has a career OPS+ of 104 heading into his age-27 season.