Cabrera had a previous run-in with the law

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File this under stuff no one ever would have known or cared about if Miguel Cabrera hadn’t screwed up on Saturday:

During an altercation at a Birmingham bar in August, Detroit Tigers
slugger Miguel Cabrera allegedly mocked a teenager about his weight and
challenged a man to a fight in an incident that resulted in no criminal
charges but prompted Tigers management to order Cabrera to avoid the
bar, according to information provided to The Detroit News . . .

. . . In the August incident, according to the information, a man told
Birmingham police that he and an unnamed teen encountered Cabrera at
the Rugby Grille on Aug. 31 about 6:30 p.m. Cabrera allegedly asked the
teen, who weighs about 300 pounds, “What’s up, big boy? You need to
work out,” according to the information provided to The News.

After that things apparently escalated, and Cabrera — though unarmed — implied that he had a gun out in his car.  He was not charged, but the irony police did issue the often out-of-shape Cabrera a citation for making fun of someone else’s weight.

The significant thing about this is that the Tigers were made aware of it at the time, their security people got involved, and Cabrera was ordered by the team to avoid the bar.  He didn’t, however, because according to this and other stories in the Detroit News, Cabrera’s Friday night/Saturday morning drinking occurred at the same place.

Last night Matthew argued that the Tigers should bench Cabrera for tonight’s playoff. I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do or not, but let’s do the math: (a) the team knew that Saturday was not Cabrera’s first problem with going out and getting rowdy; (b) the team knew that Cabrera had violated their specific order that he stay away from that particular bar; and (c) the team nonetheless allowed him to play on Saturday and Sunday.

In light of this, if the Tigers bench Cabrera they should get absolutely no credit for “doing the right thing.”  To the contrary, because they had all of the same information in hand over the weekend and took no action against Cabrera, benching him now would constitute a transparent P.R. move on the team’s part, not something they do because they actually think that Cabrera is deserving of punishment.

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)
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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.