If Derek Jeter passing Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list last night wasn’t enough for you in the milestones-of-questionable-significance department, just wait until today’s game: with one more hit Jeter will tie Mel Ott for the all-time New York hits lead.
Not the Yankees hit lead — he did that last year when he passed Gehrig — but the lead for players from all New York teams, including the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants and Mets. Ott had 2876 career hits, all for the New York Giants. Jeter stands at 2875.
After that we have to stretch a bit: with five more hits he ties Frankie Frisch — the Fordham Flash — for the all-time Bronx record. Although, yeah, Frisch was just from the Bronx. I’m assuming Jeter already holds the born-in-Pequannoc, New Jersey record.
(thanks to reader Thomas for pointing the Mel Ott thing out to me this morning).
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.