Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

The Milwaukee Brewers have picked up a big bat in free agency. The Brewers and former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins have agreed to a two-year contract worth $34 million, CBS Sports’ MLB insider Jim Bowden reports. The team has not yet confirmed the signing, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan notes that there’s an opt-out after the first season.

Hoskins, 31 in March, missed the entire 2023 season after tearing his ACL in spring training. His rehab work has gone well, well enough that he was a candidate to be added to the World Series roster had the Phillies advanced that far in the postseason. Hoskins has not played an MLB game since Game 6 of the 2022 World Series.

From 2018-22, Hoskins was one of the top power bats in the game, averaging 34 home runs per 162 games with a .241/.350/.483 slash line. That includes a .246/.332/.462 line with 30 home runs in 2022. Hoskins has been a steady source of power, walks, and good clubhouse vibes since he broke into the big leagues in Aug. 2017.

Despite the injury, our R.J. Anderson ranked Hoskins the No. 13 free agent available this offseason. Here’s his write-up:

Hoskins missed the season after tearing his ACL in March. Unfortunately, he was already facing a dicey free agent market before the injury. For as good as Hoskins is, and he’s amassed a 120 OPS+ or better in five of his six seasons, he’s a right-right first baseman on the stormy side of 30. Teams needn’t look further than José Abreu to see how quickly that profile can crater. (To be fair, Abreu is/was significantly older than Hoskins.) Between the injury and the market’s tepidness for the type, Hoskins would seem like a reasonable candidate to accept a qualifying offer. 

The Phillies declined to make Hoskins the qualifying offer earlier this offseason, so he is not attached to draft pick compensation.

Earlier this winter, the Brewers opted to not tender Rowdy Tellez. Prior to adding Hoskins, their projected first baseman had been Jake Bauers, acquired earlier this offseason from the New York Yankees.

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