Could the New York Yankees Bag Themselves a Hosmer?

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
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What are the MLB betting odds of Eric Hosmer will be playing with the New York Yankees next season? Better than one might think, according to FanRag Sport’s Jon Heyman, who writes that not just the Yanks but also Red Sox could be interested in the first baseman for the Kansas City Royals (for the time being). The Bombers seem to be committed to Greg Bird and, as the saying goes; a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. And a nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat, but that’s neither here nor there.

On the other hand (the one not with a bird, perhaps?) Bird has been limited by several injuries, and the Yankees may not want to put all their first base eggs in that particular basket. Hosmer did not get off on the right foot this season but has been playing as of late like an All-Star. Say what you will of Hosmer, but at the very least his timing is flawless. He has gone from a .195 batting average and one home run in the first 21 games of the season to .328 with 24 home runs and a career-best .394 on-base percentage following a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on September 12th. Moreover, he is on track for career bests in home runs, walks, slugging percentage and on-base percentage plus slugging. Plus, he “brings the kind of clutch and leadership [the Yankees] seek,” says Heyman.

Big numbers like those attract the other kind of big numbers, as in cha-ching! Prospective buyers must beware though of Hosmer’s inconsistency. For example, in 2013 and 2015 he was a dependable run producer in the middle of the lineup but in 2014 and 2016, he pretty much just average. But even in an off-year, the seven-year veteran can be counted on to be a locker-room leader. Currently, Hosmer is second in the American League in batting average, behind Houston’s Jose Altuve, and sixth in OPS, and has batted .348 with a .414 on-base percentage and .560 slugging percentage in 120 games since May 1st. Statistically speaking, Hosmer’s season is the best by a Kansas City hitter since Mike Sweeney’s 2002 season and could become the first Royal to post an OPS above .900 since Carlos Beltran in 2003.

Unfortunately for Kansas City, Hosmer’s best ever performance could be all for naught, since the mediocre Royals are anything but a shoe-in to make the postseason. Fortunately for Hosmer, though, his performance could potentially land him a nine-figure contract with a contending club. According to Heyman, the Yankees “love Hosmer, who brings the kind of clutch and leadership they seek. Though one person with ties to the team suggested they’d give Bird a chance, and Yankees people say they are indeed endeavoring to get below the luxury tax threshold (which could mean waiting for the even bigger stars next winter, such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and others).” There is always the Boston Red Sox, though.

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

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