Adam Morris of Lonestarball just tweeted something that made my mind reel for a few seconds:
No starting pitcher who debuted in the majors after 1967 has been elected to the Hall of Fame.
Nolan Ryan’s first game was in 1966. Since then the only arguable exception is Dennis Eckersley, but he obviously wasn’t inducted on the strength of his starting pitching.
This speaks mostly to a period of good-but-not-great pitchers who came up after the Tom Seaver/Phil Niekro/Nolan Ryan/Don Sutton crowd. Guys like Jack Morris. Dave Stieb. Dennis Martinez. An untold number of guys who were drafted and began their development in the early 70s environment in which 275 innings was the expectation, not grounds for a union grievance. How many Hall of Fame arms were blown up during that time?
Whatever the cause, it will end soon. Bert Blyleven should be in by now and we shouldn’t even be talking about this, but he may very well make it next year. We’re a couple years away from Maddux, Glavine, Randy Johnson and the giant clusterf— that will be Roger Clemens’ eligibility period.
Between Ryan and those guys, though: no one, and that’s interesting if for no other reason than it made me think of why it was the case in the first place.
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.