Strong Island's Finest: Pitchers

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In honor of the U.S. Open out at Bethpage this weekend, let’s look at
the greatest baseball players from Long Island, or Strong Island for
all you meatheads, in Major League history. The position players are here. Now the pitchers:

Frank Viola, Hempstead. 15 seasons with Twins, Mets, Red Sox,
Reds, and Blue Jays … 176-150 W-L, 3.73 ERA, 1.301 WHIP, 1,844 K in
2,836.1 IP … 1988 A.L. Cy Young with Minnesota … 6 seasons with 15+
wins … 1987 World Series Champion & MVP (won Game 1 and Game 7) … 3
All-Star games … All-Star mustache … prompted Mets fans to hang musical
notes for every strikeout … FROM! St. John’s.

Pete Harnisch, Commack. 14 seasons with Orioles, Astros, Mets,
Brewers, and Reds … 111-103 W-L, 3.89 ERA, 1.296 WHIP, 1,368 K in
1,959.0 IP … 1991 All-Star … led N.L. with 4 shutouts in 1993 … 26th
pitcher to strike out the side with only 9 pitches on September 6, 1991
against the Phillies … gave up back-to-back-to-back homers against the
Padres on Opening Day, 1997.

Pete Richert, Floral Park. 13 seasons with Dodgers, Senators,
Orioles, Cardinals, and Phillies … 80-73 W-L, 3.19 ERA, 1.186 WHIP, 51
SV, 925 K in 1,165.2 IP … 3 All-Star games … 1970 World Series Champion
… shares a distinction with John Smoltz for being players who have been
traded for Doyle Alexander.

Jason Marquis, Manhasset. 10 seasons (and counting) with Braves,
Cardinals, Cubs, and Rockies … 88-74 W-L, 4.49 ERA, 1.419 WHIP, 796 K
in 1,366.0 IP … led N.L. in L, ER, and HRA in 2006 … 4.76 ERA in 10
postseason appearances … .531 OPS, 5 HR … Silver Slugger in 2005.

John Habyan, Bay Shore. 11 seasons with Orioles, Yankees,
Royals, Cardinals, Angels, and Rockies … 26-24 W-L, 3.85 ERA, 1.358
WHIP, 12 SV, 372 K in 532.1 IP … former teammates with Mel Hall.

Paul Gibson, Southampton. 8 seasons with Tigers, Mets, and
Yankees … 22-24 W-L, 4.07 ERA, 1.448 WHIP, 345 K in 556.2 IP … gave me
pitching lessons in Bellport in 1999.

Matt Daley, Garden City. Rookie with the Rockies … ace pitcher for 2000 NY State Champion Garden City Trojans.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.