Although the four biggest free agents – Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, and J.D. Martinez – remain unsigned, perhaps we’re nearing a conclusion on one or more of them.
In the wee hours of the morning, the Padres posted a picture of a dual peace-sign wielding Eric Hosmer to their Instagram account, with no comment on why. (SEE UPDATE BELOW – they’re claiming a hack.)
Take a look:
Not to add to the excitement and I’m not saying there will be an announcement tomorrow but the Padres Instagram just posted (then deleted) a photo of Hosmer. #hosmerwatch (I should also go to sleep) pic.twitter.com/m2F9Yt5ABc
— Josh Cox (@JoshCox) January 25, 2018
And in case you’re worried that it was photoshopped, know that multiple, different screen shots at different times and from different devices exist out there. So unless there’s a massive conspiracy/prank, I’d say it definitely happened.
But that’s not all. At the exact same time, the Padres Twitter account apparently tweeted “Stay tuned …👀” and then tweeted @ Eric Hosmer (@TheRealHos35):
The best guess? Hosmer is signing with the Padres, and a certain social media account holder jumped the gun a bit on the announcement, or there was a scheduling issue with the timing. Now, with that said, that does *not* mean an announcement is expected any minute … but also I’d say it’s probably more likely than it’s ever been.
And if Hosmer falls, ladies and gentleman, he may just carry enough weight to kick start things into motion all across baseball. To be sure, there aren’t a number of very direct connections between him and someone like Yu Darvish, but the big money deals have a way of impacting each other in unseen ways.
If and when Hosmer goes to the Padres, we can discuss the implications for the National League, though they might be fairly limited – the Padres are still rebuilding, and Hosmer will not make them suddenly competitive, especially in the NL West, in 2018. But they’d be signing him more for the years after that, in any case. So we’ll see.
UPDATE: The Padres are saying they were hacked:
Padres team official: The club's social media accounts, which posted and deleted Eric Hosmer items late last night, were hacked. As of now, it is unclear how that happened. Although teams run their respective accounts, they technically are assets controlled by MLB Advanced Media.
— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) January 25, 2018