Milton Bradley returned to the cleanup spot last night after a few weeks either hurt or batting elsewhere. He went 0 for 3, and struck out looking twice. After the second one, Don Wakamatsu lifted him from the game.
Whether Bradley’s benching was to save him from himself — Bradley, you may be shocked to learn, was not happy with the umpire — or to save the Mariners from his ineptitude is unclear. What is clear, however, is that he was angry about it. Indeed, according to Gregg Bell of the Associated press “multiple Mariners” said Bradley’s mindset was “not
good” after the game. The Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker reports that Bradley’s frustration was about the benching, not about his bad night at the plate. He apparently threw stuff all over the dugout after he was taken out of the game.
Neither Baker nor Bell suggest that there was anything exchanged between Wakamatsu and Bradley, but both note that he wasn’t in the clubhouse after the game. Perhaps, like Eric Byrnes before him, he got on his bike and rode.
If this keeps up he may have something else in common with Eric Byrnes: unemployment.
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.