Eric Hosmer reached free agency last year after playing in two World Series and winning one, and after doing and saying all the right stuff. He had been an All-Star, won four Gold Gloves, batted .318 in the last season before he hit the market, and yet last January, his choices were stark -- either he accept a multiyear offer from the Padres, a team that hasn't had a winning record in almost a decade, or he could return to the Royals for a lot less money than San Diego offered.
Hosmer mentioned to friends he was surprised he didn't have more alternatives than this, more options. But so much about free agency is about timing, something completely out of the player's control, and it just so happened that when Hosmer reached the market, just about all of the contenders already had first basemen -- and Hosmer was one of many corner infielders in the market, with the reality of supply-and-demand working against most of them.
Hosmer went to San Diego and, yes, the Padres finished 30 games under .500 and in last place again. Meanwhile, longtime teammate Mike Moustakas had to settle for a one-year deal with the Royals.
This winter, the free-agent position of saturation is second base.