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The designated hitter market is starting to move, as Rhys Hoskins agreed to a deal with the Brewers

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Photo credit:Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire
Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
The Designated Hitter market is starting to move.
On Tuesday evening, it was announced by ESPN’s Jeff Passan that the Milwaukee Brewers signed free agent Rhys Hoskins to a two-year, $34 million deal. He’ll have an opt-out after the first season.
 
Hoskins missed all of the 2023 season due to surgery to fix his torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It was an unfortunate blow to the Phillies, who had won the National League pennant the season prior.
Of course, the first baseman was a huge help for the Wild Card team to make it to the World Series, as Hoskins slashed .246/.332/.462 with 30 home runs in 672 plate appearances with the Phillies in 2022. This led to a 122 wRC+ and a 2.3 fWAR. Hoskins’ numbers in the postseason weren’t as great, as he slashed just .159/.205/.435 with six homers, but included this massive nuke to put Philadelphia up 4-0.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t even Hoskins’ best season, as that came in 2018. That season, he slashed .246/.354/.496 with a career-high 34 home runs along with a 128 wRC+ and a 2.4 fWAR. There were times he had a higher wRC+, but that had to do with a small sample size, like his 18 home runs in 212 plate appearances in 2017.
The Blue Jays have been linked to Hoskins, just like nearly every other player available in free agency. However, unlike third base or even the outfield, the designated hitter position remains bountiful, as J.D. Martinez, Jorge Soler, Justin Turner, Joey Votto, Brandon Belt, and quite a few others remain available.
While they may have missed out on Hoskins, the Jays have been heavily linked to Joc Pederson, who transitioned to full-time DH last season with the San Francisco Giants. The 31-year-old slashed .235/.348/.416 with 15 homers in 425 plate appearances for a 111 wRC+ and was just a season removed from a 146 wRC+.
Toronto has also been seen as the front-runner to sign Soler, who hit 36 home runs last season. Among this winter’s group of free agents, that home run total was only second to Shohei Ohtani, though Soler has struggled with consistency throughout his career.
 

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