Report: Red Sox expected to pursue Hosmer over winter

Boston Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski has said he wants to find some more offense for his team, and he may be looking to add that bat at the position of first base.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Red Sox are expected to make a play for free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer – who’s spent his entire career with the Kansas City Royals – this winter.

Hosmer, a major part of the Royals’ core that won consecutive pennants and the 2015 World Series, is hitting the open market at the right time. The 28-year-old just finished off a career season, slashing .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers, 31 doubles, and a 132 OPS+ in 2017; he was also named a Gold Glove finalist at first base. Hosmer was also one of only five players in baseball to appear in all 162 games, and his durability could appeal to the Red Sox given their injury issues at first base this year.

Another factor that could appeal to the Red Sox is Hosmer’s apparent love of hitting at Fenway Park. For his career, Hosmer has hit .354 with a .889 OPS and three homers in 109 plate appearances at Boston’s venerable ballpark.

Boston’s primary first baseman in 2017 was Mitch Moreland, who signed a one-year deal with the team last winter and posted an OPS+ of 99 while battling through a toe injury for much of the year. Hanley Ramirez, meanwhile, was shifted from first base to designated hitter and failed to adequately replace the retired David Ortiz, managing only a 95 OPS+ and 23 homers in his injury-shortened campaign.

Despite winning their second straight AL East title, the once-mighty Red Sox offense struggled as a whole this past year, and the absence of Ortiz as a middle-order run producer was noticeable.

“We would like to add some run production to our club,” Dombrowski said on Thursday. “How that ends up happening, we’ll see.”

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