In the sweepstakes to sign coveted free agent Eric Hosmer, the Red Sox may have a secret weapon: NESN’s Kacie McDonnell.
What’s the connection? Hosmer, the 28-year-old first baseman who helped the Kansas City Royals win the World Series in 2015, is dating McDonnell, and his desire to spend more time with the sports anchor-reporter could lead him to sign with the Sox.
Over the weekend, the couple were together in New York for the Gold Glove ceremonies at The Plaza Hotel. Each posted photos of themselves at the event on Instagram, and McDonnell’s new profile picture on Facebook is a shot of her and Hosmer at the event.
McDonnell, who started at NESN in 2016, previously worked at the NBC affiliate KSHB-TV in Kansas City, where she was a morning reporter and fill-in anchor. She also did pre- and post-game reporting for broadcasts of the Major League Soccer franchise Sporting Kansas City. (She was previously engaged to former Kansas City Chiefs QB Aaron Murray.)
Hosmer, who played all 162 regular-season games last season and hit .318 with 25 home runs, is likely to command a fat contract, and the Red Sox are one of several suitors.
We’re told the couple began dating while McDonnell was working in Kansas City but eventually broke up. They started seeing each other again earlier this year. Last month, McDonnell was in Miami to celebrate Hosmer’s birthday, and posted a picture of herself on Instagram.
The NESN anchor isn’t the only person Hosmer knows in Boston. The first baseman is very close friends with Red Sox infielder Deven Marrero, who lived with Hosmer’s family for a time when they were both in high school.
Romantic relationships between professional athletes (or coaches) and the media that covers them can be problematic. A few years ago, for example, former NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell quietly dated Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, but she was reassigned when their relationship became public. And Jessica Moran, who covered the Red Sox for Comcast SportsNet — now called NBC Sports Boston — resigned amid questions about her relationship with the team’s then-manager John Farrell.
But since McDonnell doesn’t directly cover the Red Sox — and her relationship with Hosmer is public — it’s unlikely there would be a problem if Hosmer signs with the Sox.