With the MLB offseason off to such a slow start, even with the Winter Meetings wrapping up this week, there hasn't been much news about many of the second- and third-tier free agents. Everyone's waiting for the big Shohei Ohtani-shaped domino to fall and the other big names to move, mainly Juan Soto.
After those top-end talents are off the board, you can expect more free agents to start signing, as the teams that didn't get the superstars will look to begin their serious winter shopping.
We haven't heard anything about Rhys Hoskins since the very early days of the offseason when the Philadelphia Phillies opted not to extend the first baseman a qualifying offer for 2024.
There were thoughts put forth that the career Phillie would be a good fit with the division rival Washington Nationals, but another team has shown interest in Hoskins recently.
According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, Hoskins has been in talks with the Chicago Cubs about moving to the North Side of the Windy City. Per Morosi, the Cubs and Hoskin's representatives from the Boras Corporation have discussed single-year and multi-year contracts for the 30-year-old.
Hoskins looking to prove he's fully recovered and has his power stroke back
It will be interesting to see how other teams value Hoskins, who will be 31 on Opening Day, going into the 2024 season. After his 2023 campaign ended before it began with his ACL tear at the end of Spring Training, he couldn't make it back to the field in what was a contract year.
Since debuting with the Phillies in 2017, the former fifth-round pick has had a .242 batting average, but his real value lies in his power bat. Hoskins has posted a .492 SLG and a .846 OPS (125 OPS+) in his six seasons. He has launched 148 home runs, eclipsing the 30-home run mark twice (34 in 2018 and 30 in 2022).
And obviously, there's his 2022 postseason. There was his epic bat spike blast against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS and his terrorizing of the San Diego Padres in the NLCS. He hit four long balls, drove in seven, and ran an incredible .889 SLG against Padres pitching.
A move to the NL Central would be good for Hoskins. Playing more games in a hitter's paradise like Cincinnati's Great American Small Park can't hurt, plus the Milwaukee Brewers' American Family Field is a home run haven.
And don't forget the St. Louis Cardinals have "revamped" their starting rotation to include three of the most prolific home run suppliers from last season. Lance Lynn finished with the highest HR/9 rate, at 2.16, while holdover Miles Mikolas finished 15th with a 1.16 HR/9, and Kyle Gibson finished 19th with a 1.08 HR/9.
Any fresh start with everyday playing time will benefit the slugger and help him show he's healthy and back to being himself in 2024.