Albert Pujols went 3-for-4 with two homers today, as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 9-2.
The win prevents a sweep at the hand of the mighty Pirates. The homers put Pujols above 40 for the season. It’s the sixth time he’s done that in his career. In case you were unaware, the man is pretty good at baseball.
Also of milestone importance was Matt Holliday driving in a run to put him at an even 100 for the season. The Cards may have sunk like a stone in September, but Holliday is putting together his best month of the season. Overall he’s at .315/.388/.542 with 27 homers to go with those 100 RBI.
I’m not sure who is most responsible for the Cardinals bad ending, but you can’t say that Pujols and Holliday have poopy in their pants.
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.