When the Philadelphia Phillies decided to keep Bryce Harper at first base for the 2024 MLB season, it effectively signaled the potential end of Rhys Hoskins’ tenure with the ballclub. They aren't likely to bring him back in a designated hitter role since Kyle Schwarber is currently in that position, and they certainly wouldn’t want him back in left field where he played earlier in his career, but with sub-par results.
With Hoskins pretty sure all but gone from Philadelphia, he has been recently rumored to have potential landing spots with two other MLB clubs in the Chicago Cubs and the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the case of the Cubs, The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma deemed Hoskins a “good fit for their roster” overall (subscription required). They further emphasized that the Cubs have expressed interest in Hoskins due to his postseason experience, along with the fact that he could be open to a short-term deal following his long layoff from his ACL season-ending injury in 2023. Scott Boras, Hoskins’ agent, even stated that he could potentially see a “pillow contract” in the works.
With the Cubs using Cody Bellinger, Jeimer Candelario, and Trey Mancini, along with a mixed supporting cast for the first base position in 2023, they will be looking for an ideal replacement for the position now with both Bellinger and Candelario entering free agency. Hoskins would fit the bill perfectly as a strong, reliable, run-producing first baseman who can put up 30 home runs and 80 RBI on a year-to-year basis.
In the case of the Blue Jays, MLB insider Robert Murray suggested that they are the team to look out for in terms of the Hoskins’ sweepstakes on a recent episode of “The Baseball Insiders” podcast.
Obviously, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will hold down the first base position for the Jays for the foreseeable future. So, if they intend to sign Hoskins, it would most likely be as a replacement for Brandon Belt, who played in the DH role for the Jays in 2023 and gave Guerrero the odd day off at first base. That scenario would be ideal for Hoskins, as it would remove the rigors of having a heavy workload in the field coming off his ACL surgery.
Hoskins would also be a welcome addition to the Jays’ lineup, who often struggled to create offense, coming up short with runners in scoring position during the past season. Back in 2022, he often came up clutch for the Phillies, posting a .292 batting average and .903 OPS with seven home runs and 52 RBI with RISP. If he can somehow reproduce those numbers in 2024 despite the one-year layoff, the Jays would certainly be more than happy to have him as part of their potent lineup.
Either way, it's becoming more apparent by the day that Hoskins will definitely get his opportunity to shine once again in 2024, but with another ballclub and not in a Phillies’ uniform.