Were you aware that David Eckstein was a short, scrappy winner?

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You would think that after ten seasons of people constantly writing some variation of the “David Eckstein may be small, but he’s a scrappy winner!” story, eventually newspapers would stop running it. You would think that, but you would be wrong. From the L.A. Times:

If David Eckstein  is right, if players like him are an endangered species because computer-generated calculations can’t quantify the value of hustling and the little things he does so well, baseball will be the poorer for it.

If there’s no room for someone like the San Diego Padres’ second baseman, the ultimate little guy with a big heart and a winning influence on every team whose dirt-stained uniform he has worn, the sport will lose a piece of its soul.

I realize that, blogging like I do, I have chained myself to the 10-minute Twitter-fed news cycle and thus many things in baseball about which more casual fans don’t yet know are old hat to me. But I don’t think I’m wrong in thinking that a lede like that in a David Eckstein story slipped into realm of parody a good five years ago. Really, if The Onion were to do a totally dry “Meet David Eckstein” story — with the joke being that we all met him a decade ago — it would start exactly like that.

At this point, rather than sit for the interview, Eckstein should just hand out a pre-printed list of his “I don’t listen to the scouts and the experts, I just go out and play” quotes and save himself a lot of time.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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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.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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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.