Possibility of Hosmer Falling to the Yanks May 17, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in 2008 MLB Draft, Eric Hosmer, Scott Boras.
Here’s something to get Yankee fans salivating: there is a real chance that American Heritage (FL) 1B Eric Hosmer falls to the Yankees. First, let’s see the draft order:
|1||Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|3||Kansas City Royals|
|5||San Francisco Giants|
|8||Chicago White Sox|
|13||St. Louis Cardinals|
|15||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|17||Toronto Blue Jays|
|18||New York Mets (from Atlanta)|
|22||New York Mets|
|23||San Diego Padres|
|27||Minnesota Twins (from LA Angels)|
|28||New York Yankees|
|30||Boston Red Sox|
Hosmer’s talent should ideally place him in the 5-10 range. However, Hosmer, who works with Scott Boras, has rumored demands of a $7 million, Major League contract, a large bounty on a high school player. As Jim Callis of BA pointed out yesterday, the Giants at #5 would prefer S. Carolina U 1B Justin Smoak, as he is the better player and is more polished. The Marlins at #6 are already maxed-out after signing Hanley Ramirez long-term and still having a small payroll until the revenues of the new stadium, and could instead go for UMiami 1B Yonder Alonso, a masher with less demands. The Reds (7), White Sox (8), and Astros (10) have established firstbasemen, and the Nationals (9) have recently converted top prospect Chris Marrerro in their system.
However, the first candidate to get Hosmer is Texas at #11. The Rangers don’t have an adequate firstbaseman now (depending on how you consider Jarrod Saltalamacchia), but one of Hank Blalock or Chris Davis will be moved there when Davis comes up. Blalock won’t stop the Rangers from drafting Hosmer, but Davis and his enormous power might. However, the Rangers aren’t afraid to negotiate with Boras, as seen by Alex Rodriguez’s then-record 10yr/$252M deal.
The next threat is Toronto at #17, who have an average/mediocre 1B in Lyle Overbay and don’t have a replacement in the system. They certainly have the money, with a $97M payroll for the season. The only question, again would be negotiating with Boras, as they have no major Boras-represented players in their organization.
Then there’s the Mets at #18. This is the likeliest place for Hosmer to be taken, as the Mets have an aging Carlos Delgado, who walks after this year, and no one in sight to replace him. Rumor has it that top prospect Fernando Martinez may be moved to 1B, but he hasn’t produced enough for his bat to play well there. The Mets have the third-highest payroll in baseball, coming in at $137.8M, and have a barren system. The Mets have also dealt with Boras players LHP Oliver Perez and CF Carlos Beltran, and they drafted RHP Mike Pelfrey, a Boras client, in the 1st round, though the negotating process took 7 months.
Detroit at #21 is the last threat before the Yankees. Detroit has spent heavily on the first round in the past for years, grabbing Justin Verlander, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller (previous two now with the Marlins), and Rick Porcello. They do have Miguel Cabrera at 1B, but he can always be moved back to 3B as Carlos Guillen is no guarantee to stay healthy with his knees, and will be 33 at year’s end. The smart thing to do would be to rebuild the farm system and draft someone like OF/RHP Aaron Hicks, as he would be a 1st-round talent at either position, but Hosmer’s talent may be too much to pass up.
Let’s not forget the Yankees might not take Hosmer, either. They had a bad experience with Boras over A-Rod this winter, but they have the money and a slot in the organization.
In total, I rate the possibility of Hosmer falling to NYY as unlikely, but possible.
UPDATE, 05/18/08 11:22 AM: Just read on MLB Draft University, which cites a Jim Callis chat saying that the Mets, whom I previously picked to land Hosmer and his $7M, that the Mets will not go over slot. So much for that…