Former Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer agrees to deal with Cubs, per report

Former Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer has agreed to a one-year contract with the Cubs, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. Jon Heyman of The New York Post first reported that the two sides were close to a deal on Tuesday night.

Hosmer, 33, was released by the Red Sox on December 22 after being designated for assignment six days prior. The decision to designate Hosmer served two purposes as it cleared a 40-man roster spot for newly-acquired reliever Wyatt Mills and served as a vote of confidence for rookie first baseman Triston Casas heading into 2023.

“Our roster isn’t complete yet, but as we build our club, we feel it’s important to give Triston a clear lane, and that carrying two left-handed hitting first basemen would leave us short in other areas,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo last month. “Given that, it’s important to do right by Eric and give him time to find his next opportunity. We knew when we first got him that this day would come at some point, and wanted to make sure we treated him right.”

Boston acquired Hosmer (as well as minor-leaguers Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson) from the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome in early August. As part of the deal, San Diego agreed to pay the remainder of Hosmer’s contract down to the major-league minimum.

Hosmer was brought in to provide the Red Sox with some stability at first base but was limited to just 14 games with the club due to a bout with low back inflammation that required a lengthy stint on the injured list. While Hosmer was sidelined, Casas was called up from Triple-A Worcester and played well in his first taste of big-league action.

Casas’ performance down the stretch allowed for the Red Sox to move on from Hosmer without any real hesitation. Boston made an attempt to trade the Boras Corp. client while he was on waivers, but that never came to fruition and he was instead released.

In his 14 games with the Red Sox, Hosmer went 11-for-45 (.245) with three doubles and four RBIs. Between San Diego and Boston last year, the former Royals All-Star batted .268/.334/.382 with 19 doubles, eight home runs, 44 runs driven in, 38 runs scored, 37 walks, and 64 strikeouts across 104 games spanning 419 total trips to the plate.

Hosmer, who does not turn 34 until October, reportedly drew interest from the Marlins and Orioles in free agency before ultimately agreeing to sign with the Cubs. Chicago will only be responsible for paying Hosmer the league minimum in 2023 since the Padres are still on the hook for the remaining three years and $39 million of the eight-year, $144 million contract he originally signed in February 2018.

With all that being said, Hosmer becomes the latest member of the 2022 Red Sox to sign elsewhere as a free agent this winter. He joins the likes of Matt Strahm (Phillies), Xander Bogaerts (Padres), J.D. Martinez (Dodgers), Rich Hill (Pirates), and Nathan Eovaldi (Rangers). Michael Wacha remains unsigned, though his market could soon be heating up.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Triston Casas provides update on knee injury, looks ahead to 2023

Nearly 10 weeks after a bout with knee soreness resulted in him being pulled out of the Dominican Winter League, Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas says he is in good spirits.

“The knee is feeling better,” Casas told Joe McDonald of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette on Friday. “It was a little bit of a scare when I was in the Dominican. I tried to play through it a little bit, assuming that it was just a kink because I hadn’t played in 10 days between the end of the big league season and the first game of that season.”

The Red Sox sent Casas to play winter ball in the Dominican in an effort to get him more at-bats. The 22-year-old went 2-for-9 (.222) with five RBIs in his first three games with the Tigres del Licey before being shut down in mid-October. He flew back to Boston shortly thereafter and underwent an MRI that revealed no structural damage.

While there was initially some optimism that Casas would be able to return to Licey’s lineup, that ultimately never happened and he instead recuperated from home in Florida.

“It healed up well,” Casas said in regards to resting his knee. “I’m starting to run, starting to sprint and progressing back to pretty much being 100-percent healthy.”

At home with his family in Pembroke Pines, Casas has begun incorporating more baseball activities into his offseason workouts as he prepares for the start of spring training in February.

“I’m progressing well with all my workouts and my swing progression has been on point,” said Casas. “I’m starting to incorporate some defensive drills. Defense for me is a lot of footwork, so I’ve been working on my agility and I’m confident it will translate onto the field.”

Casas, who turns 23 next month, enters the 2023 season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The left-handed hitter made his major-league debut in September and displayed quality plate discipline in the process of batting .197/.358/.408 with one double, five home runs, 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored, one stolen base, 19 walks, and 23 strikeouts in his first 27 games (95 plate appearances) with the Red Sox.

Because of what he showed down the stretch this year, the Red Sox now view Casas as their first baseman of the future. They made that much clear when they designated fellow left-handed hitting first baseman Eric Hosmer for assignment last week and officially released him on Thursday.

“Our roster isn’t complete yet,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a recent conversation with MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. “But as we build our club, we feel it’s important to give Triston a clear lane, and that carrying two left-handed hitting first basemen would leave us short in other areas.”

Despite that vote of confidence from the club’s top decision maker, Casas understands that he will still have to earn the starting job at first base once he reports to Fort Myers. At the same time, though, the former first-round draft pick out of American Heritage High School in 2018 looks at his past track record in the minors as a reason why he should find success in the majors.

“It gives me chills just thinking about it,” Casas said. “It’s something I’ve been working towards for a very long time. I feel really confident that I’m going to do well. At this point in my career I’ve been able to succeed at every level and I don’t anticipate the major-leagues being any different. I make adjustments really well and I’m ready.”

Casas very well could have debuted for the Red Sox before rosters expanded in September, but he missed a significant amount of time (roughly two months) while with Triple-A Worcester due to a high right ankle sprain sustained in mid-May. That was one of the reasons why he went to play winter ball in the Dominican.

“Initially, I was really upset because I felt like I was on the verge of getting into a groove and potentially making a case to make the (big-league) roster,” said Casas. “But (the injury) put everything into perspective.”

After a brief rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League, Casas returned to Worcester on July 22. He slashed a stout .296/.404/.504 with five homers and 16 RBIs while playing above-average defense at first in 36 games (161 plate appearances) with the WooSox before getting called up to Boston on Sept. 4.

Although his surface level numbers — such as a .766 OPS — don’t necessarily jump off the chart, Casas did impress when it came to driving the ball to all fields as well as taking ball four. His 20.0 percent walk rate, for instance, ranked first among all American League rookies who made at least 90 trips to the plate in 2022, per FanGraphs.

The Red Sox were encouraged by Casas’ patient approach, among other things, which is why they felt comfortable enough to move on from Hosmer. That being said, there are some concerns when it comes to Casas’ durability seeing he dealt with two lower-body injuries this year alone. In an effort to combat these issues which have hindered his ability to swing a bat in the past, the 6-foot-5, 255-pounder noted that he has been trying to find the ideal playing weight for himself moving forward.

“During the season you lose weight, but right now I feel good where I’m at,” Casas said. “I’m going to try to stay at this weight, continue to get stronger and more agile and faster at this weight. My swing feels strong and fast, so I don’t feel the need to go on a diet, or try to bulk up at this point of my career. Right now 6-foot-5, 255 pounds is solid.”

Casas told McDonald that he is focused on his future with the Red Sox. The Red Sox, for their part, could look to lock in Casas — who is not yet eligible for salary arbitration — to a long-term contract extension before the 2023 season begins.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox release Eric Hosmer

The Red Sox have officially released first baseman Eric Hosmer, the club announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

Hosmer, 33, was designated for assignment last Friday so that the Red Sox could clear a spot on their 40-man roster after acquiring reliever Wyatt Mills from the Royals.

Boston originally acquired Hosmer — as well as minor-leaguers Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson — from the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome at the trade deadline. As part of the deal, San Diego agreed to pay the remainder of Hosmer’s salary down to the major-league minimum.

Hosmer was brought in to provide the Red Sox with a boost at first base, but he was limited to just 14 games with the club due to low back inflammation that kept him sidelined from late August until early October. During that time, top prospect Triston Casas was called up from Triple-A Worcester and played well enough to establish himself as Boston’s everyday first baseman heading into the 2023 season.

As chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom explained to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo over the weekend, the Red Sox designated Hosmer for assignment with Casas — who also hits from the left side of the plate — at the forefront of their future plans.

“Our roster isn’t complete yet, but as we build our club, we feel it’s important to give Triston a clear lane, and that carrying two left-handed hitting first basemen would leave us short in other areas,” Bloom said. “Given that, it’s important to do right by Eric and give him time to find his next opportunity. We knew when we first got him that this day would come at some point, and wanted to make sure we treated him right.”

According to Cotillo, the Red Sox “worked hard” to trade Hosmer in recent weeks but were ultimately unable to find a partner. Hosmer opted into the final three years and $39 million of his contract last month, so the acquiring team would be getting three years of control. Once he was designated for assignment, it became a foregone conclusion that Hosmer would be released since the team that claimed him would then be on the hook for the aforementioned last three years of his deal.

Now that he has cleared waivers and has been cut loose by the Red Sox, Hosmer — who is represented by Scott Boras — is free to sign elsewhere. Per Cotillo, whichever club signs Hosmer will only be responsible for the league minimum salary next year while the Padres pick up the rest of the tab.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Red Sox designate Eric Hosmer for assignment, likely ending first baseman’s time in Boston after just 14 games

After acquiring right-handed reliever Wyatt Mills from the Royals on Friday night, the Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster. They did so by designating veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer for assignment.

Hosmer was acquired from the Padres (with minor-leaguers Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson) in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome in early August. The 33-year-old was initially going to be traded to the Nationals as part of the package that netted the Padres Juan Soto and Josh Bell, but he exercised his limited no-trade clause and Luke Voit was sent in his place.

The Red Sox then jumped in on the opportunity to nab Hosmer, who signed off on the move. As part of the four-player swap, Boston would only owe Hosmer the league minimum while San Diego would be responsible for the rest of his contract.

To that point in the season, the Red Sox had gotten little production out of their first basemen, namely Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero. Hosmer, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, was brought in to provide some stability at the position. He made his Boston debut on Aug. 4 and batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts in his first 12 games (45 plate appearances) with the club before hitting the injured list with low back inflammation on Aug. 23.

While Hosmer was sidelined, the Red Sox called up top first-base prospect Triston Casas from Triple-A Worcester in early September. The 22-year-old impressed to some degree down the stretch, as he slashed .197/.358/.408 with one double, five home runs, 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored, one stolen base, 19 walks, and 23 strikeouts over 27 games (95 plate appearances). Hosmer, on the other hand, returned from the injured list in early October and went 2-for-5 (.400) in two games against the Rays before season’s end.

The Red Sox entered the offseason with four first basemen on their 40-man roster (or five if you include Christian Arroyo). Last month, they did not tender a contract to Cordero, who has since signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles. They have also made Dalbec available in trade talks. Hosmer unsurprisingly opted into the final three years and $39 million of the eight-year, $144 million deal he originally received from the Padres in February 2018. Casas injured himself in winter ball but projects to be the team’s Opening Day first baseman in 2023.

Both Casas and Hosmer hit from the left side of the plate and primarily play first base, so rostering the two of them would have been difficult due to their redundancy. The Red Sox clearly view Casas — who turns 23 in January — as their first baseman of the future while Hosmer was viewed as more of an insurance policy. Keeping Hosmer on the roster was not impossible, but the kind of offensive production he has provided of late does not make him an ideal designated hitter candidate, either.

“Our roster isn’t complete yet, but as we build our club, we feel it’s important to give Triston a clear lane, and that carrying two left-handed hitting first basemen would leave us short in other areas,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo on Friday night. “Given that, it’s important to do right by Eric and give him time to find his next opportunity. We knew when we first got him that this day would come at some point, and wanted to make sure we treated him right.”

Instead of holding onto Hosmer going into the spring, the Red Sox — as explained by Bloom— elected to cut bait now. Boston now has the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Hosmer, who can reject any move since he gained a full no-trade clause after being dealt by the Padres. Though Hosmer, who turns 34 in October, is slated to earn $13 million per year over the next three years, he can be had for the major-league minimum since San Diego remains on the hook for the bulk of the $39 million that is still owed to him. That in itself could make the former All-Star appealing to other teams in need of an experienced first baseman. If all else fails, Bloom and Co. could simply elect to release Hosmer, which would allow him to hit the open market and sign elsewhere as a free agent.

With Hosmer out of the picture, the Red Sox now seem poised to pursue a right-handed hitting corner infielder who could complement Casas at first base and would be an upgrade over Dalbec, who posted a .652 OPS in 117 games this past season.

Hosmer, for what it’s worth, becomes the third player Boston has designated for assignment this week, joining the likes of infielder/outfielder Hoy Park (who has since been traded to the Braves) and infielder Jeter Downs, who will likely get traded to or be claimed by another team in the coming days.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Red Sox acquire Wyatt Mills from Royals, designate Eric Hosmer for assignment

The Red Sox have acquired right-hander Wyatt Mills from the Royals in exchange for relief prospect Jacob Wallace, the club announced on Friday. In order to make room for Mills on the 40-man roster, first baseman Eric Hosmer was designated for assignment.

Mills, who turns 28 next month, was designated for assignment himself earlier this week. The righty split the 2022 season between the Mariners and Royals and posted a 4.60 ERA — but much more respectable 3.62 FIP — with 26 strikeouts to 13 walks over 27 appearances spanning 29 1/3 innings of work.

A former third-round draft pick of the Mariners out of Gonzaga University in 2017, Mills first broke in with Seattle in May 2021. He pitched to a 9.95 ERA and 4.35 FIP with 11 strikeouts to seven walks across 11 outings (12 2/3 innings) last season and opened the 2022 campaign at Triple-A Tacoma.

The Mariners recalled Mills in late April and he proceeded to put up a 4.15 ERA (3.46 FIP) with six punchouts to three walks in his first eight appearances (8 2/3 innings) of the season before being traded to to the Royals with fellow righty William Fleming in exchange for Carlos Santana on June 27.

With Kansas City, Mills produced a 4.79 ERA and 3.69 FIP with twice as many strikeouts as walks (20-to-10) over two stints and 19 appearances (20 2/3 innings) out of the Royals bullpen down the stretch this season. The 27-year-old lost his spot on the Royals’ 40-man roster when the club signed left-hander Ryan Yarbrough to a one-year, $3 million contract on Tuesday.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 214 pounds, Mills possesses a sidearm delivery and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a low-90s four-seam fastball, a low-80s slider, and a low-90s sinker, per Baseball Savant. The Washington state native held opposing hitters to a .167 batting average against with his four-seamer (his most frequently-used offering) this year.

Mills has one minor-league option remaining and is not arbitration-eligible until 2026. He owns a lifetime 2.60 ERA over 62 1/3 career innings at the Triple-A level and figures to provide the Red Sox with some additional bullpen depth in 2023, if not beyond.

Going back to Kansas City in exchange for Mills is Wallace, the 24-year-old relief prospect the Red Sox originally acquired from the Rockies as the player to be named later in the August 2020 trade that sent Kevin Pillar to Colorado.

Wallace, who hails from Methuen, Mass., spent the entirety of the 2022 season with Double-A Portland. The right-hander out of UConn. forged a 3.81 ERA and 5.81 FIP with 76 strikeouts to 49 walks over 47 relief outings (56 2/3 innings) for the Sea Dogs. He was a candidate to be added to Boston’s 40-man roster last month, but was left off and was passed over in last week’s Rule 5 Draft. SoxProspects.com had Wallace as the No. 45 prospect in the organization, noting that his command and control need significant refinement.

Finally, we arrive at Hosmer, who was designated for assignment in order to make room for Mills on the 40-man roster. The Red Sox acquired Hosmer (as well as minor-leaguers Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson) from the Padres for pitching prospect Jay Groome in early August.

Hosmer appeared in just 14 games for Boston and batted .244/.320/.311 with three doubles, four RBIs, and six runs scored. The 33-year-old was placed on the injured list with low back inflammation on Aug. 21 and did not return until the final series of the season against the Rays.

While Hosmer was sidelined, the Red Sox called up top prospect Triston Casas from Triple-A Worcester. Casas, a left-handed hitting first baseman, slashed .197/.358/.408 with five home runs and 12 RBIs across 27 games (95 plate appearances) to close out the season. Considering the fact that Casas and Hosmer both hit from the left side of the plate and primarily play first base, the latter became somewhat redundant this offseason thanks to the former’s emergence in the fall.

The Red Sox will now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Hosmer, who opted into the final three years and $39 million of his contract last month. As part of the deal that sent Hosmer from San Diego to Boston, though, the Padres agreed to pay the remainder of Hosmer’s salary down to the major-league minimum. That means that another club could claim Hosmer off waivers without needed to make much of a financial commitment to him moving forward.

Hosmer, who does not turn 34 until next October, did gain a full no-trade clause when he was dealt from the Padres to the Red Sox over the summer, so he would have to approve a move if Boston elects to trade him. The Red Sox could also elect to simply release Hosmer since the Padres remain on the hook for the bulk of his contract through 2025.

Following Friday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is now at full capacity.

(Picture of Wyatt Mills: Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

With additions of Kenley Jansen and Masataka Yoshida looming, Red Sox face possible roster crunch

The Red Sox will be facing a roster crunch of sorts in the coming days after a busy week at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

After officially signing veteran reliever Chris Martin to a two-year, $17.5 million contract on Thursday, Boston’s 40-man roster is now at full capacity. Earlier this week, the Sox reportedly agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with closer Kenley Jansen and a record-setting five-year, $90 million deal with Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida.

Once the signings of Jansen and Yoshida become official, the Red Sox will need to create two spots on their 40-man roster in order to accommodate those two additions. How they plan on doing that remains unclear.

So far this month, Boston has already outrighted catcher Ronaldo Hernandez off the 40-man roster, which paved the way for Martin to be added on Thursday. It’s possible that other players towards the end of the 40-man — like Hernandez was — could be on the chopping block as well.

Bobby Dalbec, for instance, came up in trade talks this week. On Monday, Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam reported that the Red Sox “have told teams that Dalbec is available” and that the Rays were one of the teams “which has expressed some interest.”

That Dalbec has been made available is not all that surprising. The 27-year-old slugger struggled to the tune of a .215/.283/.369 slash line with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs in 117 games this season while grading as a poor defender at first base. He was sent down to Worcester when top prospect Triston Casas was called up in September and is squarely behind him and Eric Hosmer on Boston’s first-base depth chart.

Dalbec, who turns 28 next June, is just one year removed from a 25-homer season in which he produced a 106 wRC+. The former fourth-round draft pick also does not become eligible for salary arbitration until 2024 and has two minor-league options remaining. The Red Sox are probably not asking for much in return for Dalbec, who came up through the minor-leagues as a third baseman, though they could potentially land an unheralded prospect for him who is more of a lottery ticket than anything.

Boston recently parted ways with a similar type of prospect when it acquired infielder/outfielder Hoy Park from the Pirates late last month. Park, who had just been designated for assignment by Pittsburgh, cost the Red Sox right-hander Inmer Lobo, who was signed for $10,000 out of Venezuela back in January.

Park, 27 in April, could be in limbo with his new club the same way he was in with the Pirates. The South Korea native broke in with the Yankees last July and has since batted .201/.291/.346 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 68 games between New York and Pittsburgh. He, like Dalbec, has two minor-league options remaining but also comes with more years of control since he does not become arbitration-eligible until 2026.

Dalbec and Park represent just two possibilities for chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom when it comes to trimming down the size of the Sox’ 40-man roster. Relievers Ryan Brasier and Darwinzon Hernandez were each tendered contracts last month but are coming off disappointing 2022 seasons. Jeter Downs, the top prospect acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade, made his major-league debut in June but looked outmatched at times at the plate. The same can be said for outfielder Jarren Duran.

Hosmer opted in to the final three years and $39 million of his contract in early November. The Red Sox, however, only owe the 33-year-old the league minimum over the next three seasons after acquiring him from the Padres at the trade deadline. Since Hosmer has a no-trade clause and therefore has the right to reject a move to another team, Boston could elect to simply designate him for assignment or outright release him if all else fails.

All told, the Red Sox will have some interesting — and maybe even difficult — decisions to make in the coming days as they introduce Jansen and Yoshida to the organization.

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Eric Hosmer will not exercise opt-out clause in contract; first baseman is set to earn $39 million over next 3 seasons

Eric Hosmer has informed the Red Sox that he will not be opting out of the final three years and $39 million of his contract, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman.

The Red Sox acquired Hosmer and minor-leaguers Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier from the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome at the trade deadline in early August. As part of the deal, San Diego agreed to take on nearly the entirety of Hosmer’s remaining contract, leaving Boston on the hook for only the major-league minimum.

Hosmer was brought in to provide the Red Sox with stability at first base at a time when they desperately needed it. The 33-year-old recorded just nine hits in his first 12 games with the club before low back inflammation kept him sidelined and on the injured list into October. He returned in time for the final two games of the season.

After batting .272/.336/.391 with 16 doubles, eight home runs, 40 RBIs, 32 runs scored, 33 walks, and 55 strikeouts in 90 games (369 plate appearances) with the Padres to begin the year, Hosmer slashed .244/.320/.311 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts over 14 games (50 plate appearances) with the Red Sox to close it out.

Given that level of production, Hosmer’s decision to opt in is not necessarily a surprising one. The former first-round draft pick of the Royals spent the first seven years of his major-league career in Kansas City before signing an eight-year, $144 million deal with the Padres in February 2018.

At that time, Hosmer had inked the largest free-agent contract in Padres history. The deal included a full no-trade clause from 2018-2020 and a limited no-trade clause thereafter that prevented the Boras Corp. client from being traded to 10 teams.

The Padres attempted to trade Hosmer to the Nationals as part of the Juan Soto/Josh Bell swap over the summer, but the four-time Gold Glover exercised his no-trade rights. While San Diego ultimately sent Luke Voit to Washington to complete the deal, it also found a trade partner for Hosmer when the Red Sox — who were not on his no-trade list — agreed to acquire the veteran first baseman.

Because he was traded by the Padres, though, Hosmer once again received full no-trade protection. Only this time it would last for the remainder of his contract. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported about this provision last month.

Given that unique caveat, the Red Sox may have difficulty in finding a trade partner for Hosmer since he has the ability to veto a trade to any other team. At the same time, however, there could still be plenty of interest on account of the fact Boston only owes Hosmer $720,000 per year over the next three years.

As things stand now, Hosmer’s fit on the 2023 Red Sox would seem to be an imperfect one. Boston already has a left-handed hitting first baseman on the rise in Triston Casas, so on paper there really would not be much of a need to carry two similar players like that.

With that being said, the Red Sox could elect to retain Hosmer as insurance behind Casas. It also helps that Hosmer played a role in mentoring Casas, a fellow American Heritage High School alum, after the 22-year-old was called up for the first time in September.

Beyond first base, Hosmer could help fill the void left behind by J.D. Martinez at designated hitter since Martinez is expected to sign elsewhere in free agency. He also has past experience in right field, though his last appearance out there came during his age-25 season in 2015.

At the end of the day, the Red Sox have options when it comes to what they will do with Hosmer moving forward. It should be interesting to see what the future has in store for him.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts, Eric Hosmer return to Red Sox lineup for Tuesday’s game against Rays

Xander Bogaerts and Eric Hosmer are both back in the Red Sox’ lineup for Tuesday’s contest against the Rays at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts has missed each of Boston’s last two games due to back tightness. He will be batting third and starting at shortstop on Tuesday. Hosmer was activated from the injured list on Monday after missing the last six weeks with low back inflammation. He will be batting seventh and starting at first base in place of Triston Casas.

Hosmer, who was originally placed on the 10-day injured list on August 21, was unable to go out on a rehab assignment since the minor-league season is already over. The 32-year-old instead spent his weekend at Fenway hitting off a high-tech pitching simulator.

“We’ve got this machine down there, it’s like a simulator or whatever,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Sunday. “What comes out is pretty similar to the stuff [of MLB pitchers]. You put, for example, Gerrit Cole, and the machine actually calibers the stuff based on his last start. So he’s been facing some good big-league pitching the past few days.”

Since being acquired from the Padres at the trade deadline, Hosmer has been limited to just 12 games with the Sox. The left-handed hitter has batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts across 45 plate appearances.

Bogaerts, meanwhile, felt his back tighten up on him when he tried to hit in the batting cage prior to Monday’s 4-3 win over Tampa Bay. As a result, he was scratched from the lineup but is back in there for the penultimate game of the season.

In his last nine games dating back to September 22, Bogaerts has gone 4-for-33 (.121) at the plate, likely putting him out of contention for the American League batting title. Still, the 30-year-old infielder is expected to become a free-agent this winter if he exercises the opt-out clause in his contract, so these could very well be his last few days playing in a Red Sox uniform.

Speaking of pending free-agents, Nathan Eovaldi is on the mound for his final start of the season. Connor Wong will be catching the right-hander while batting out of the nine-hole. Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up as they go up against Rays lefty Jeffrey Springs to start things out on Tuesday:

1. LF Tommy Pham

2. 3B Rafael Devers

3. SS Xander Bogaerts

4. RF Alex Verdugo

5. DH J.D. Martinez

6. CF Kiké Hernández

7. 1B Eric Hosmer

8. 2B Christian Arroyo

9. C Connor Wong

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Eric Hosmer: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Eric Hosmer, place Rob Refsnyder on injured list in series of roster moves

Before opening a three-game series against the Rays at Fenway Park on Monday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Worcester and first baseman Eric Hosmer was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. Secondly, right-hander Josh Winckowski was optioned following Sunday’s loss to the Blue Jays while outfielder Rob Refsnyder was placed on the 10-day injured list due to low back spasms, the club announced.

Hernandez returns to Boston for his third big-league stint of the season. The 25-year-old southpaw has appeared in just seven games for the Sox and has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) on 14 hits, eight walks, and nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings of relief. That is good for an ERA of 21.60 and a FIP of 12.71.

With Hernandez back in the fold, he will join Matt Strahm as lefties the Red Sox will have available out of the bullpen for their final three games of the season.

Hosmer, meanwhile, returns after originally being placed on the injured list with low back inflammation on August 21. Although he has missed each of the Red Sox’ last 38 games, the 32-year-old was not able to go out on a rehab assignment since the minor-league season is already over. He instead spent his weekend hitting off a high-tech pitching simulator at Fenway Park.

“We’ve got this machine down there, it’s like a simulator or whatever,” manager Alex Cora said on Sunday. “What comes out is pretty similar to the stuff [of MLB pitchers]. You put, for example, Gerrit Cole, and the machine actually calibers the stuff based on his last start. So he’s been facing some good big-league pitching the past few days.”

The Red Sox acquired Hosmer and minor-leaguers Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson from the Padres at the trade deadline in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome. Hosmer, who turns 33 later this month and is under team control for three more years, has been limited to just 12 games since going from San Diego to Boston.

In those 12 games, the left-handed hitter has batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts across 45 trips to the plate.

Winckowski, like Hernandez, was a member of the Sox’ taxi squad for their last series in Toronto. The 24-year-old righty was added to the active roster on Saturday to provide Boston with some length out of the bullpen. He made the first relief appearance of his big-league career at Rogers Centre and yielded three runs over three innings of work in 10-o loss to the Jays.

On the 2022 season as a whole, Winckowski — who debuted back in May — posted a 5.89 ERA and 4.95 FIP to go along with 44 strikeouts to 27 walks over 15 appearances (14 starts) spanning 70 1/3 innings pitched.

Refsnyder being placed on the injured list at this stage means that his season is over. The 31-year-old journeyman originally signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox last December. He first joined the big-league club as a COVID-related substitute in April before having his contract selected on a full-time basis in June.

When healthy, Refsnyder proved to be a key contributor off the bench who could play all three outfield positions and do his fair share of damage off left-handed pitching. All told, the right-handed hitter slashed .307/.384/.497 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs, 25 runs scored, one stolen base, 15 walks, and 46 strikeouts over 57 games (177 plate appearances) in his first season with the Sox.

Following Monday’s flurry of moves, the Red Sox now have 14 pitchers and 14 position players on their 28-man roster.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox likely to activate Eric Hosmer from injured list on Monday

The Red Sox are going to activate first baseman Eric Hosmer from the injured list on Monday, manager Alex Cora said prior to Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Hosmer, who has been sidelined with low back inflammation since August 22, will be available for the team’s final series of the season against the Rays in Boston.

With the minor-league season already completed, Hosmer was unable to go out on a rehab assignment in order to get at-bats. He instead spent his weekend hitting off a high-tech pitching simulator at Fenway Park. According to Cora, this machine is expensive and is only owned by five big-league organizations.

“We’ve got this machine down there, it’s like a simulator or whatever,” Cora told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne). “What comes out is pretty similar to the stuff [of MLB pitchers]. You put, for example, Gerrit Cole, and the machine actually calibers the stuff based on his last start. So he’s been facing some good big-league pitching the past few days.”

Cora also indicated that Hosmer would make one start against the Rays in order to get fellow first baseman Triston Casas off his feet for a day.

“Give him a start. Give [Casas] a day off,” Cora said (via MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith). “But we’ll use him. It’s good that he wanted to do it. He put himself in this situation and we’ll use him.”

Hosmer, who turns 33 later this month, has appeared in just 12 games with the Red Sox since being acquired from the Padres at the trade deadline. Boston also received minor-leaguers Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier and cash considerations in the deal while San Diego picked up pitching prospect Jay Groome.

In those 12 games with the Sox, the left-handed hitting Hosmer batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts across 45 trips to the plate before being placed on the injured list.

Given that his contract runs through 2025, it should be interesting to see what the Red Sox decide to do with Hosmer this winter. When the trade was made two months ago, the Padres agreed to pay the remainder of Hosmer’s deal down to the league minimum. This means that the Sox are only responsible for a mere fraction of the $39 million owed to the former All-Star over the next three years.

Taking that into consideration, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. could possibly entertain trade offers for Hosmer since Casas — who also hits from the left side of the plate — appears to be Boston’s first baseman of the future.

While a Casas-Hosmer platoon would prove to be redundant, the Sox could still hold on to Hosmer since veteran slugger J.D. Martinez is about to hit free agency. If the club elects to move on from Martinez, Hosmer could potentially fill in at designated hitter next season.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)