Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Rhys Hoskins is officially a former Phillie.

The 30-year-old first baseman agreed Tuesday night to a two-year, $34 million contract with the Brewers, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Hoskins can opt out of the deal after a year and re-test free agency. He missed all of 2023 after tearing the ACL in his left knee in spring training, an injury that made him a candidate for a one-year, prove-it deal. This contract with Milwaukee is even better for Hoskins because it protects him against worst-case scenarios with a second year.

He earned $12 million in 2023 with the Phillies.

The only players in franchise history with fewer at-bats per home run than Hoskins were Jim Thome, Ryan Howard and Mike Schmidt. The Phillies chose Hoskins in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of Sacramento State. He exploded two years later in Double A, hitting 38 home runs and driving in 116 for Reading.

The next summer, he was in the majors, and within 34 games he’d set a major-league record with 18 home runs.

Hoskins went on to play six seasons with the Phillies, hitting .242/.353/.492 with 148 home runs and 149 doubles. He hit a career-high 34 homers in 2018 and led the National League with 116 walks in 2019.

His most dramatic moment as a Phillie came in the third inning of Game 3 of the 2022 NLDS when he hit a three-run bomb off of Spencer Strider and slammed his bat to the ground as the Phillies took a commanding series lead over the rival Braves.

The 2023 postseason began with a thunderous ovation for Hoskins as he walked out to the mound to throw out the first pitch. There was a chance he could have helped the Phillies in the World Series but they never got there, collapsing against the Diamondbacks in the NLCS.

It was known that Hoskins’ time with the Phillies was over after the 2023 season when his contract expired. Bryce Harper played first base in the second half of 2023, his first year back from Tommy John surgery, and Harper took to the position so well that it’s his moving forward. With Kyle Schwarber as the DH and other DH candidates already on the roster, it was no longer the right fit for Hoskins. There was more money and opportunity elsewhere. The Cubs were connected to Hoskins all offseason but it was another NL Central team, the Brewers, making the move.

Hoskins likely slots into the cleanup spot for Milwaukee, which has a thin lineup aside from Cristian Yelich and Willy Adames.

Hoskins will return to Citizens Bank Park with the Brewers June 3-5, just before the Phillies head to London to play the Mets.

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