Eric Hosmer has been discussed in trade rumors for over a year now. At the 2021 MLB trade deadline, the Padres and Cubs reportedly discussed a potential deal.
The 32-year-old first baseman doesn't seem to fit into the Padres' future plans. But unfortunately for them, Hosmer is set to make $18 million in 2021 and almost $60 million total through 2025. That financial commitment puts San Diego in a position to search for creative ways to dump his salary.
That's why talks between the Cubs and Padres took place this past summer. Likely to the dismay of the Padres, the Cubs were not looking to add an expensive, aging first basemen who also doesn't fit into their future plans. This then begs the question: how would this all make sense? The obvious answer is that the Padres would have to have to attach a top prospect to the deal in order for the Cubs to consider taking on either all or a majority of Hosmer's hefty contract.
Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported the prospect the Cubs were after was catcher Luis Campusano. The 23-year-old backstop made his MLB debut in 2020 by rather unconventional means, going from Single-A to the big leagues.
More About Luis Campusano
Campusano started the 2021 season in Triple-A and put together an outstanding campaign. Across 81 games, he slashed .295/.365/.541 for an OPS of .906 and hit 15 home runs. In 1,108 career MiLB at-bats, he touts a .301 average with an OPS of .840.
Looking at Campusano's numbers, his low strikeout figures stand out. He has only struck out 191 times for a 17% K rate in the minors. In summary, Campusano is a solid young player who is ready for the big leagues.
Eric Hosmer's Fit, Or Lack Thereof, With The Cubs
If the Cubs and Padres decide to revisit this trade, the North Siders would have to figure out how Hosmer would fit into their 2022 plans. Frankly, there isn't an easy fit for Hosmer.
With the emergence of Frank Schwindel and the possibility of platooning him with young first baseman Alfonso Rivas, a reasonable fit for Hosmer ceases to exist. Bringing the veteran to Chicago has the makings of a Jason Heyward 2.0 situation while the Cubs are still dealing with Jason Heyward 1.0.
If a future trade comes to fruition, would Luis Campusano's potential outweigh Eric Hosmer's expensive and clunky presence? I'm not entirely sure, but I would lean toward saying no.
What Would A Trade Look Like?
Dennis Lin's report doesn't include details regarding what the Padres sought from the Cubs. But it is apparent that most of the Cubs' potential offering would be cash to pay for Eric Hosmer. On top of the cash, the Cubs would likely have to include a depth player such as David Bote. Alternatively, the Cubs could dip into their Triple-A roster to provide the Padres some positional depth.
The last question a potential Hosmer deal brings about is a big one. What would it mean for Willson Contreras and his future with the Cubs?
Contreras's future with the Cubs is up in the air, and acquiring a top catching prospect would put it in further jeopardy. There is still hope that the Cubs can sign Contreras to an extension after the lockout ends and before the 2022 season starts. But at this point, it is reasonable to be skeptical about the possibility of a deal coming to fruition.