The Milwaukee Brewers have been monitoring the first base market this off-season. Reports of the team surfaced earlier of them being interested in free agents such as Carlos Santana and Garrett Cooper. Rather than go this direction GM Matt Arnold has instead reportedly signed the league’s top available free agent in Rhys Hoskins to a two year contract.
Rhys Hoskins and the Milwaukee Brewers have a two year contract in place.
Outside of Rhys Hoskins the only other superior free agent first base option is Cody Bellinger. He too is a Scott Boras client, but saw more time last year in the outfield grass as compared to the infield. This made Rhys Hoskins the best available true first baseman and the Brewers signed him to a $34 million contract.
Exact details breaking down his contract are currently not known, but Jeff Passan reported that this is a two year deal that includes an opt out after the first year. This sets him up to make on average $17 million per season. Hoskins is coming off of ACL surgery and did not play in 2023, which is likely why the soon to be 31 year old received a deal shorter in length.
How did Rhys Hoskins perform as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies?
All six of Hoskins MLB seasons have come with the Phillies. Philadelphia drafted him in the fifth round in 2014 and he made his big league debut in 2017. Excluding the shortened 2020 season, he has hit anywhere from 18-34 home runs each year, topped out at 96 RBI in 2018, and he led the league in walks in 2019 with 116.
Throughout his career he currently owns a slash line of .242/.353/.492. Against left-handed pitchers the right-handed hitters numbers improve to .250/.399/.522. Additionally he has had some big post season moments that included six total home runs during the Phillies postseason in 2022 that resulted in them going to the World Series.
Where will Rhys Hoskins fit in with the Milwaukee Brewers?
Defensively Hoskins is primarily a first baseman but he does have some experience in the outfield. The last time he played in the outfield was 2018. Overall his advanced defensive metrics suggest that he is generally a below league average defender at first base. This makes him a candidate to also see time as the Brewers designated hitter.
Lineup wise Hoskins has accumulated most of his at-bats either as the second batter or the clean up hitter. His ability to get on base and hit for power/slug makes him a for sure top to middle of the lineup type of player. Assuming Christian Yelich remains the lead off hitter inserting him anywhere from second through fourth in the lineup seems like a lock at this point.
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