Howard Megdal takes a look at Mets fan’ relationship with their expensive closer:
Francisco Rodriguez has held up his end of the bargain with the New York Mets and their fans.
He’s been a good closer, by any reasonable measure: the Mets have
called on him again and again to finish off the other guys, and the vast
majority of the time, that’s exactly what he’s done.
But the fans don’t generally like him all that much. They boo him
when he comes into games, or at least some of them do–enough to make
You know how I feel about the booing. I think booing is uncalled for unless a guy just dogs it or rips his teammates or does something other than merely fail on the field despite his best efforts to succeed.
But I get it. I think Howard has a good take here and I think you should read it, but I’d quibble with the “K-Rod has held up his end of the bargain” statement. He has tried — I don’t know anyone who has suggested that he hasn’t — but he has been a less successful closer in New York than he was in Anaheim, and that, I think, is what people are reacting too. I wouldn’t boo that, but I’m also in the minority on booing etiquette.
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.