Eric Hosmer arrived at San Diego Padres camp Tuesday with a new uniform number, a desire to lead and a personal mandate to take the franchise to a place it's never been. Hosmer, 28, landed the biggest guaranteed payout of the MLB offseason when he agreed to an eight-year, $144 million deal with San Diego on Saturday. The contract, which includes a fifth-year opt-out, easily surpasses the four-year, $75 million deal for pitcher James Shields that previously set the standard for a Padres free agent. Hosmer said he is ready to embrace a leadership role for the Padres, who haven't been to the playoffs since 2006 or logged a winning record since 2010 and have lost the only two World Series appearances since their inception in 1969. He hopes to convey some of the winning mindset that he developed as a pivotal member of Kansas City's 2015 championship club. "Every player's goal is to ultimately win a world championship," Hosmer said. "To be able do that in Kansas City was amazing. To have that taste and understand what it means to a city and how much joy and excitement it brings to the people out there, it's an experience I can sit here and talk about all day. It's something that drives you as a player -- to try to bring back as many as you can. "You see how San Diego as a city is begging for a sports team to go in there and bring some excitement and some energy. I saw the direction the organization was going, and I saw the people at the top of the mountain who were leading the organization, and I bought into what they're trying to do here." Hosmer wore No. 35 in Kansas City, but the Padres retired that jersey number in 1997 in honor of pitcher Randy Jones. He will wear No. 30 in San Diego as a tribute to his former Royals teammate Yordano Ventura, who died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last year. Third-base coach Glenn Hoffman agreed to relinquish the number so Hosmer could have it.
Padres co-owner: Hosmer a 'more natural' leader than Myers
ESPN | Feb 20