Cubs, Padres could revisit an Eric Hosmer trade post-lockout

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

We already knew the Cubs and Padres had had some level of talks this summer regarding first baseman Eric Hosmer. Such a trade would mean Chicago taking his bloated contract off their hands – and adding to their prospect ranks in the process.

In a mailbag for The Athletic (subscription required) on Monday, Sahadev Sharma noted those talks would have sent a ‘highly-regarded prospect’ to the Cubs, along with Hosmer – although which of San Diego’s young talents isn’t specifically noted. Outfielder Robert Hassell seems like a likely bet, but the Friars have a few top-tier prospects in their organization that could be part of such a deal.

Of course, those talks never amounted to anything. The trade deadline saw Chicago send Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Craig Kimbrel packing in deals that focused on young, controllable talent coming back in the process. Jed Hoyer is doing his best to balance remaining competitive and replenishing the farm system simultaneously – and one of the most logical ways to go about it is by taking on a bad contract via trade.

Hosmer still has four years and $60 million left on his deal – but after making $21 million next season, he’ll earn just $13 million annually from 2023 to 2025. That’s a very palatable sum, at least in the sense it won’t hamstring the front office long-term. Throw in the fact you’re also getting a Top 100 prospect in the deal and it becomes even easier to swallow.

Chicago Cubs: Expect Eric Hosmer talks to pick up again post-lockout

Last month, I talked about how this winter represents the perfect time for the Cubs to make such a move. There’s nothing blocking Hosmer at the big league level – with the designated hitter likely coming to the NL next year, you can mix and match with Frank Schwindel pretty easily.

Bringing in a top prospect at this point allows you to align his development timeline with that of the organization. Each of the Padres’ top four prospects are expected to be with the big league club in the next two years – which would allow the Cubs to capitalize on their cost-controllable early years.

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We might not know when the lockout will draw to a close – but it seems like things will be awfully busy once that happens. We know the Cubs and Padres have had plenty of talks since Hoyer took over the baseball ops from Theo Epstein – and this deal could be the latest fruits of those labors.