The Chicago Cubs appear to be on the verge of adding veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer on a free-agent deal that will likely be for the league minimum being that the San Diego Padres remain on the hook for the 8-year, $144MM contract he signed with the team in 2018.
There has been some criticism of the Cubs' pursuit of Hosmer given the lack of power that he has displayed over the course of the past two seasons. Hosmer's .313 wOBA and 104 wRC+ in split time with the Padres and Boston Red Sox would actually place him toward the top of the Cubs' offensive contributors last season. Hosmer raises the floor for the Cubs' offensive potential in 2023 but there is no question that the team still needs more offensive upgrades.
A concerning criticism that has been developing regarding Hosmer has been his reputation for being a bad personality within a Major League clubhouse. From what we found and mentioned earlier today, Hosmer has routinely been loved by his teammates. Whether it was during his time with Kansas City Royals, the Padres, or the Red Sox in the second half of last season, Hosmer has universally been viewed as a player that brings a clubhouse together.
Cubs' starting pitcher Marcus Stroman confirmed as much in an exchange with Bleacher Nation on Twitter.
There is no question that Hosmer failed to live up to the contract that he signed with Padres. Though, that is not reason to label Hosmer as a clubhouse cancer. A player can not meet expectations on the field but remain a positive influence within the clubhouse. Both statements can be true.
In addition to defending Hosmer's reputation, Stroman also expressed his excitement for the first baseman to join the team. Hosmer followed Stroman's tweet up with excitement of his own.
Hosmer's deal with the Cubs has yet to be officially announced but it is only a matter of time at this point.