There will be new fake grass for the Rogers Centre this year. It’s supposed to look more like real grass and have fewer seams, but the real impetus for it is that it can be removed and replaced faster than the old turf, thereby allowing the good people at Rogers Communications to book more concerts and tractor pulls and curling tournaments and stuff than they could before.
That’s nice and all, but I’m with Dick Allen on this one: If a cow can’t eat it, I don’t wanna play on it. Or watch, it. Really, if given the choice, I will watch any other game before I’ll watch a Rays or Blue Jays game, and previously a Twins game, simply because I can’t stand to watch games on turf.
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.