His team rolled over for the Twins to end any semblance of a race in the AL Central, but that didn’t stop Ozzie Guillen from uttering his latest highly amusing soundbite.
Guillen praised the Twins for playing so well despite losing stars like Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan, and then specifically mentioned rookie Danny Valencia coming out of nowhere to hit .330 after playing in the same high school conference as Guillen’s son, Ozzie Jr.:
They go and get this kid Valencia. When you play against Ozzie Guillen Jr. in the same division in high school, you’re very horses*** because Ozzie Guillen Jr. is not going to choose any good conference to play baseball. And [Valencia] is a superstar [for the Twins].
Now, admittedly I probably find that quote a lot funnier than, say, Ozzie Guillen Jr. does, although presumably he’s used to it by now. And you know what? He’s not totally wrong about Valencia.
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.