Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley spoke Saturday with ESPN.com’s Elizabeth Merrill on the strides he’s made as a person since running into trouble in early May with Seattle management. He’s grateful for the help that the M’s have given him this season and was hoping for similar assistance last year in Chicago, but failed to ever ask.
“I wanted to take some time out, get my thoughts together, and just
speak to someone and get an understanding from somebody unbiased,”
Bradley said. “But you can’t really do that in Chicago. There’s just
too much going on.”
Sounding calm and collected in a 45-minute interview with ESPN.com, he attempted to explain why he acts foolishly at times. He claims it’s because he cares, sometimes too much.
“Because I’m a big guy, a 210-pound, 6-foot baseball player, I’m strong
and can hit a baseball a long way,” Bradley said. “But I’m still human.
My heart still pumps the same blood as everyone else. I have feelings
and emotions, and my feelings are deep and strong.”
Bradley, 32, is 5-for-16 with three runs scored since being activated from the restricted list last week. The Mariners, as a team, are 2-2 over that span.
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.