In the latest installment of baseball contracts destined to fail, the Padres and Royals seem committed to engage in a bidding war for free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer a commodity likely to age poorly and ultimately become a disappointing investment.Unle s one is an impact reliever, the MLB free-agent signing period is moving like a glacier, which indicates teams are more than willing to wait out players anticipating elite contracts. Under the circumstances spring training is le s than six weeks away it would seem the player would be the party getting antsy, but instead the Padres and Royals appear intent on overshooting the mark to sign Hosmer.MORE: Ranking the top 101 MLB free agents for 2018Each club is said to be offering the 28-year-old a seven-year deal, with the Padres’ worth $140 million and the Royals’ valued at $147 million. The competition likely will require the Padres to bump their bid by adding an eighth season, or a significant boost in average annual value, to persuade Hosmer to venture away from a comfortable situation in Kansas City. Instead, the Padres should back out and the Royals shouldrethink their strategy.In 2017, Hosmer generated career highs in each facet of his slash line (.318/.385/.498) with 25 home runs and a 135 wRC+. Hosmer’s offensive peak Asdrubal Cabrera Jersey made up for continually sketchy defense(-7 defensive runs saved at first base). All told, Hosmer recorded a career-best 4.1 WAR, per FanGraphs.The timing was perfect for Hosmer and agent Scott Boras, who has a knack for retrieving top dollar for his clients. Boras doesn’t mind the slow-moving market.In fact, some of his finest work is performed when it is presumed that the pre sure kicks in on the player. However, the difference here is that we’re not talking about a January signing of a superstar pitcher such asMax Scherzer. Hosmer nabbing a seven- or eight-year contract at $20 million or$21 million per season is more akin to https://www.metsedge.com/new-york-mets/wilmer-flores-jersey Boras persuading the Tigers to hand over $214 million to Prince Fielderin 2012. It’s a mistake.Hosmer is a fine player who sits firmly atop the heap of an otherwise underwhelming free-agent first baseman cla s, but he is not elite. Yes, he comes with certain intangibles that fit the Padres (looking for a clubhouse guy and winner) and the Royals (striving to stay relevant while catering to their fans), but these traits may die along side his production as early as when the contract reaches the midpoint.MORE: Spring training reporting dates for all 30 MLB teamsPlayers who command and receive seven- or eight-year baseball contracts today must be of superstar ilk. Hosmer is at best an above-average player. Truthfully, that is debatable.One glance at Hosmer’s performance history resembles the up and down of a multi-humped roller coaster track. For as good as Hosmer was in 2017, there was 2016 (-0.1 WAR), which was a disappointment because of 2015 (3.5 WAR) and that was a delight compared with 2014 (0.0 WAR). The yo-yo trend, which began with Hosmer’s rookie season, is irrefutable.Even if we provide Hosmer the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he can attain 3.0 WAR in each of his next two seasons an extremely rosy scenario for Hosmer considering he has compiled all of 9.9 WAR in his seven MLB seasons the typical aging downturn in production value will begin to take shape. Looking at the chart below, using a forumla that a sumes a decrease of .5 WAR per year after 2019, we see that by the time Hosmer hits his Age31 seasonhe will barely https://www.metsedge.com/new-york-mets/lenny-dykstra-jersey break even in terms of production value to his club.SeasonAgeEstimated value of 1.0 WAR in millionsEstimated WARPerformance value in millions201828$9.03$27.0201929$9.53$28.5202030$10.02.5$25.0202131$10.52$21.0202232$11.01.5$16.5202333$11.61$11.6202434$12.20.5$6.1Total$135.7(Note: Value of 1.0 WAR increased by 5 percentannually.)MORE: How does Eric Hosmer stack up with otherfree-agent first basemen?Under the terms of the Padres’ proposal, they stand to lose $4.3 million on the deal, while the Royals would suffer an $11.3 million deficitat their current offer. Now, picture an eighth year and another $20 million or $21 million added on when Hosmer would be predicted to turn in 0.0 WAR at age35. The contract becomes a net lo s of $24.3 million for the Padres and $32.3 million for the Royals.The ideal contract for a team to seek with Hosmer would resemble three years for $75 million or four years at $96 million. Hosmer would secure a higher AAV, while the signing team could turn in a net positive and allow another club to deal with the wrong side of Hosmer’s age curve.The modeling of baseball contracts and the pace to which teams are entering into the free-agent market is in transition. Players like Hosmer good, not elite, but situated well against the rest of the market may still have a slight advantage over clubs. That too shall change, though apparently it will not with Hosmer, as the Padres and Royals seem bent on making one last mi step.Christopher Carelli is a Sporting News contributor who writes about the busine s of sports.