Free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer is in contract negotiations with the Chicago Cubs, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, who notes that while things look "promising," no deal is done.
Hosmer, who spent part of the 2022 season with the Boston Red Sox after coming over in a trade from the San Diego Padres, was designated for assignment by the club on Dec. 16.
Boston's decision to DFA Hosmer was puzzling to some, but Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said at the time that he wanted to give 22-year-old Triston Casas "a clear lane" to the position.
The BoSox acquired Hosmer, Max Ferguson, Corey Rosier and cash from the Padres at the 2022 trade deadline in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome. The Friars paid Hosmer's deal down to the minimum, saving the Red Sox about $44 million.
Had the Red Sox kept Hosmer on their roster, he wouldn't have made more than $760,000 in a season through the remainder of his deal thanks to the Padres' decision to pay off most of his contract.
Hosmer began his career with the Kansas City Royals in 2011. He earned four Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger award and an All-Star Game selection during his seven-year career with the franchise.
The Florida native went on to sign an eight-year contract with the Padres in 2018, but he never lived up to expectations in San Diego. In four-and-a-half seasons with the club, he slashed .265/.325/.411 with 69 home runs and 309 RBI in 596 games.
His underwhelming performance led the Padres to make him available on the trade market, and they eventually dealt him to the Red Sox. He appeared in only 14 games for Boston in 2022, slashing .244/.320/.311 with four RBI.
If Hosmer were to sign with the Cubs, it's possible he would serve as the team's starting first baseman. Patrick Wisdom is currently atop Chicago's depth chart at the position, but he spent the majority of the 2022 campaign at third base.
The Cubs have also been linked to former Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini this winter. He would be the better option, but he would also likely cost more money than Hosmer.