The Boston Red Sox swooped in to grab Eric Hosmer on Tuesday when the San Diego Padres first baseman, according to sources, vetoed a move to the Washington Nationals as part of the blockbuster Juan Soto trade.
The Red Sox obtained Hosmer, a 2016 All-Star with the Kansas City Royals, along with two minor leaguers and cash in exchange for minor league left-hander Jay Groome. The addition of the four-time Gold Glove winner, who is batting .272 with eight homers and 40 RBIs, helps fill one of the team's biggest holes so far this season.
As part of the deal, San Diego will be paying all of the approximately $44 million remaining on Hosmer's $144 million, eight-year contract, which runs through the 2025 season, to the Red Sox, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Red Sox first basemen -- primarily Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero -- have batted .224 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. The team also has 10 errors at first base -- tied for most in majors -- with Cordero committing three in one game last week.
In all, the Red Sox rank in the bottom five in production at the position in batting average, home runs, RBIs and OPS.
"We have struggled to find stability at first base this year," Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said. "We think Eric will provide that.''
Boston also received a pair of 22-year-olds: Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier, who have been playing this season in Class A.
Groome, 23, is 4-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 19 appearances, making 17 starts in Double-A and Triple-A this season. He is 12-22 with a 4.46 ERA in his career since being selected 12th overall in the 2016 draft.
Ferguson is a left-handed hitter who is batting .221 in Class A this season with 6 homers, 50 RBIs and 55 stolen bases in 60 attempts. He has played shortstop and second base and some outfield.
Rosier is an outfielder who is hitting .263 with six home runs and 33 stolen bases in Class A.
"It's like New Year's Eve: 3-2-1 fireworks,'' Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters from the visitor's dugout at Minute Maid Field in Houston, minutes after the trade deadline had passed.
It was an active couple of days for Boston, which has stumbled badly a year after a surprise trip to the American League Championship Series.
Eleven games over .500 and in position for a playoff berth, the Red Sox won just six of their next 23 games. They entered Tuesday night's game against the Astros in sixth place in the AL wild-card standings, three games behind Tampa Bay and Seattle in the race for the league's sixth and final spot in the postseason.
"We have a good baseball team," Cora said. "Obviously we have work to do. We are three games behind in the wild-card race, and we've got a shot.''
Bloom, who last week declined to declare the Red Sox sellers at the deadline, held off on trading either of his two young All-Stars or Martinez, who would have been an attractive rental for a team making a run at the playoffs.
But he sent starting catcher Christian Vazquez to the Houston Astros on Monday night for a pair of minor leaguers. And he traded left-handed reliever Jake Diekman to the Chicago White Sox for catcher Reese McGuire.
"It was a big move,'' Bogaerts said of the Vazquez trade. "He was a big piece of the team. We got a couple of good players back. We'll see how it goes.''
The Red Sox also obtained left fielder Tommy Pham in a trade with Cincinnati for a player to be named or cash.
"I think we have at least as good a chance of getting to the postseason as we did, and I hope a better one,'' Bloom said. "When we have a shot, even when it's not the shot we anticipated in April, we should take it.''
Hosmer used the no-trade provision in his contract to block his inclusion in the Padres' deal to acquire Soto from Washington, sources told Passan.
Hosmer had a provision allowing him to block trades to 10 teams, including the Nationals, and he has the right to opt out of the contract after this season to become a free agent.
He is owed $7,032,967 from his $20 million salary this year and $13 million in each of the following three seasons.
Hosmer, 32, helped the Royals win the 2015 World Series title, scoring the tying run in the ninth inning of the clinching Game 5 win over the New York Mets. After hitting 25 homers in back-to-back seasons in Kansas City, he averaged 17 in his three full seasons in San Diego; he batted .265 with the Padres, including this year and the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, down from a .284 average with Kansas City.
His arrival in Boston clouds the future of Triston Casas, a 22-year-old who was selected by Boston 26th overall in the 2018 amateur draft. Viewed as a future Red Sox first baseman, Casas is hitting .241 with eight homers and 25 RBIs at Triple-A Worcester after hitting three home runs for the U.S. at last year's Olympic baseball tournament.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.