Tony La Russa is saying that Mark McGwire is going to make himself available to the media sometime soon. Likely not at next week’s Winter Meetings — really, why would Mac want to come to Indianapolis in December? — but probably before Christmas.
I still don’t know what the big deal about all of this is. We know the guy did PEDs, some legal at the time, maybe some that weren’t so legal. We know he tried to walk the perjury/Fifth Amendment/bad P.R. tightrope in front of Congress. I suppose it’s possible that he’ll have an Iverson-esque teary breakdown in front of reporters about it all now, but it’s not likely. Even if he comes clean and admits to taking everything under the sun, the story is less about the fact — which everyone assumes — it’s about the admission, which just seems kind of superfluous to me. We’re not idiots, are we?
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.
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.