Ron Romanick

The Athletics name their new pitching coach

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You may want to sit down for this, but the A’s have named Ron Romanick their new pitching coach. He was formerly their bullpen coach.

I know. I reacted the same way. In fact, I’ll always remember where I was when I heard the news. Everything is different now. It’s like, everything that happened before I heard this news was in black and white and everything since is in crisply-rendered high definition.

Let’s see, what else . . . Romanick pitched in the big leagues for parts of three seasons with the Angels. They used to be called the California Angels then. His last game was on July 21, 1986. I was on a family vacation to Nova Scotia then. I remember this, because we left right after my 13th birthday, and that was a week before Romanick’s last game. So yeah, we were probably on Cape Breton looking at lobster traps or something around then.  Fun trip, though. We took the car ferry from Yarmouth back to Portland, Maine and since we were in international waters then, 13 year-old kids could play the slot machines. That’s about all I got on Romanick, folks.  If anyone has anything more to add, I’ll consider updating.

Oh, and, um, sorry about the weird pic of him. I know it kind of looks like a hostage “proof of life” photo, but it was the only one of him in an Athletics uniform I could find on the whole Internet.

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.