The St. Louis Cardinals want to add juice to their batting order during the offseason as evidenced by the National League Central team’s interest in Giancarlo Stanton for a possible blockbuster trade.
However, if that big trade does not come to fruition for the Cardinals, the team might turn to the pool of free agents available to find offensive help. One such free agent that fits that bill is Eric Hosmer, who has played his entire professional career with the Kansas City Royals, but as of the end of the season the first baseman became a free agent.
Several teams are interested in Hosmer’s talents both on the field and in the batter’s box, but one team that has expressed little or no interest to date is St. Louis. However, one source from the team described Hosmer as a good fit for what the team wanted to do with its lineup.
Hosmer has a strong 2017 regular season with a slash line of .318/.385/.498 and 25 home runs. His OPS+ of 132 was the best of his career and he reached that figure even though his season started very slowly. For his Major League Baseball career, Hosmer’s OPS+ is 111 in seven seasons.
While opinions will vary about his defense, he has won a Gold Glove four times. He will be 28 when the season starts, which means he is still quite young by baseball free agent standards.
St. Louis is not without its options for first base, with Jose Martinez and Matt Carpenter already on the team’s roster. However, Carpenter has already been asked to play a super utility role next season.
It has been reported that Scott Boras Hosmer’s agent was in contact with St. Louis, though the depth or even nature of that contact is unclear since Boras does represent several free agents.
Carpenter played as the primary first baseman for St. Louis in 2017. He appeared as the first baseman in 120 games, while playing 16 games as the third baseman and 13 at second.
Jose Martinez, a rookie last season for the Cardinals played between first and outfield. St. Louis as mentioned earlier wants Carpenter to fill in anywhere in the infield, which he did in 2016.
That would open up first for Hosmer if Martinez remained in the outfield.
Apparently the Royals hold hope they can re-sign Hosmer but after he declined their qualifying offer on Thursday and have seen interest from other teams such as the Cardinals, Padres and Red Sox, the Royals should be less inclined to think they can re-sign him.