Veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer has exercised his $13 million contract option with the Boston Red Sox for the 2023 season, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
He's now locked into the next two years of the deal before holding another player option for 2025, per Spotrac.
Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reported Boston will only be on the hook for paying the MLB minimum salary for the duration of the contract, while the San Diego Padres will pay the rest.
The Red Sox acquired Hosmer from San Diego at the Aug. 2 trade deadline in exchange for minor league left-hander Jay Groome. The deal came after he declined to be sent to the Washington Nationals in the Juan Soto trade.
Hosmer, who has failed to live up to expectations since signing an eight-year, $144 million deal with the Padres in 2018, was expected to opt in to his contract as he likely would not have been paid more if he became a free agent.
In 14 games with the Red Sox, he slashed .244/.320/.311 with no home runs and four RBI. It was a disappointing second half of the season for the four-time Gold Glover, though he didn't have the best year as a whole.
Between the Red Sox and Padres in 2022, he slashed .268/.334/.382 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 104 games.
That said, the Red Sox as a whole were disappointing, finishing last in the AL East with an 78-84 record and missing the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons.
Now that he's returning to Boston for 2023, Hosmer should serve as the team's top first baseman, anchoring a unit that also includes Bobby Dalbec and rising star Triston Casas, the club's No. 2-ranked prospect, per MLB.com.