After reportedly acquiring Adam Frazier in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, the San Diego Padres could now look to shed some payroll, with Eric Hosmer potentially on the move prior to the July 30 deadline.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic, Hosmer's name "has surfaced in recent trade discussions."
The Padres are reportedly set to top MLB's competitive balance tax threshold of $210 million for the first time. The latest calculations would put the squad at $2 million over the line, meaning it would have to pay a 20 percent tax on that overage.
Hosmer has a $21 million salary in 2021, which is the fourth season of his eight-year, $144 million contract, per Spotrac.
The 31-year-old hasn't quite lived up to his contract with the Padres, but he has helped the team at the plate, with a .266 batting average and a .330 on-base percentage with eight home runs in 92 games this season.
Hosmer was even better in the shortened 2020 campaign, with a .287 average and the second-best OPS (.851) of his career. A contending team could add the proven left-handed hitter and four-time Gold Glove winner in the hopes he can return to this level in a new location.
The Padres, meanwhile, will need to make room in the lineup for Frazier.
Like Frazier, San Diego second baseman Jake Cronenworth earned an All-Star selection this season, but he has made 15 appearances at first base this year and could slide over with Hosmer gone.
It would help further solidify a lineup that features Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado and entered Monday ranked seventh in the majors in runs scored. With the Padres still chasing the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, they will likely keep seeking ways to improve.
On the other hand, trading Hosmer could create chemistry problems for the World Series contenders, with Rosenthal and Lin noting the veteran is "universally respected inside the Padres’ clubhouse."