Change sign

Wait — did they go and screw with my HardballTalk again?

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Um, yes. A little. Thanks for noticing!

No, it’s  not a major change like the one we dropped on you last summer. You know, the one that caused you to say that you’d never read us again and which made you threaten the lives of my family? Boy, I’m glad you weren’t serious about that! I’d hate it if you stopped reading.

No, this time it’s minor. At least from your end: we switched publishing platforms from Movable Type to WordPress. Bloggers among you may find that interesting. Non-bloggers, not so much. The point, however, is that changing over to WordPress makes the machinery of this jalopy work much more smoothly, and that makes Aaron, D.J., Drew, Matthew, Bob and I much less grumpy. It should also improve things for you. You may have noticed some time lags in posts and comments appearing, as well as a few other quirks. That should mostly disappear. There are other, more subtle things that you may not notice but which will make your time-wasting, er, I mean your reading experience a bit better.

The one big change, however, is comments. While registration for commenting is not new to you, your old registration on Movable Type won’t work now. You will, as that email you should have received from NBC told you, have to register with WordPress. The good news is that if you’re an avid blog commenter already you probably already have a WordPress login. If not, registration is not obtrusive as  far as these things go, and will only take a moment. We don’t, it should go without saying, use your registration information for any ulterior marketing or spying purposes or for any other sort of tomfoolery.

So that’s that. If you experience any hiccups, let me know. If you’re just a crotchety old fogey who hates change, well, yeah, me too.  But we promise that after this we won’t go messin’ with anything for a while. Coo?  Of course it’s cool.

Craig

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.