Alex Rodriguez hit his 598th career home run on Sunday in the Yankees’ 9-5 victory over the Rays. He sits squarely in seventh place on the all-time home run list, just behind Sammy Sosa and right in front of Frank Robinson:
1. Barry Bonds (762)
2. Hank Aaron (755)
3. Babe Ruth (714)
4. Willie Mays (660)
5. Ken Griffey (630)
6. Sammy Sosa (609)
7. Alex Rodriguez (598)
8. Frank Robinson (586)
9. Mark McGwire (583)
10. Jim Thome (574)
11. Harmon Killebrew (573)
A-Rod is just two home runs shy of the 600-home run club, which only has six members currently. He’s batting .272/.347/.488 this season with 15 homers and 73 RBI. It’s been a down year power-wise, but, like him or not, Rodriguez is still contributing and still making history.
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.