Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler indicated Tuesday the team is not planning significant changes to its offer to free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer. The Union-Tribune reported earlier this month that the Padres had presented agent Scott Boras with a seven-year deal worth less than $140 million, and the club apparently has not budged from that position.
"I think we were pretty creative in the way we put a contract proposal together," Fowler said in an interview on The Mighty 1090. "We like it. I don't know if Mr. Boras likes it, but that's probably another story."
Boras began the winter seeking an eight-year contract in the neighborhood of $200 million, according to industry sources. But the free-agent market has been the most lethargic in recent memory, and Hosmer has not attracted a long list of suitors. The Kansas City Royals, who would like to retain their franchise first baseman, have been the Padres' main competition.
The fit for either club has been a source of curiosity. Both small-market franchises are rebuilding and have never committed to a nine-figure contract.
Hosmer does represent a younger alternative to other free agents. The Padres and Royals believe the 28-year-old could remain in his prime when postseason baseball returns to their respective ballparks.
Fowler said the front office broached the idea of pursuing Hosmer roughly six months ago.
"They like him, they like his makeup, they like his leadership in the clubhouse, and obviously they like him as an athlete," Fowler said. "We met with him, and he's a very impressive individual."
How much the Padres are willing to pay for Hosmer's qualifications – both tangible and otherwise – has been the subject of extensive debate. In Tuesday's interview, it was suggested to Fowler that a six-year deal would be preferable.
"I think you're taking my side of the discussions I've had with Andy (Green) and A.J. (Preller) and (Josh Stein)," Fowler said, referencing his manager and front office.