cooperstown

Joe Posnanski creates a passive-aggressive masterpiece

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Joe Posnanski’s latest post is brilliant. It’s about an imaginary “Willie Mays Hall of Fame” in which only the truly elite of the elite should be enshrined. Many people talk about such a thing, and today he envisions it. The post is long, and if you take it at face value you might get mad at the reasoning he uses in eliminating players from the platonic ideal of the Hall of Fame. But look deeper: he’s simply taking the reasoning of current Hall of Fame voters to its logical conclusion.

There are people who only want a small Hall of elite players. OK.  There are some who vote now who want to keep out the cheaters. OK. Some won’t vote for guys on the first ballot. OK.  Some won’t vote for guys who didn’t “feel” like Hall of Famers at the time. Others won’t vote for guys who are roughly comparable to players who aren’t already in. There are a dozen reasons for these kinds of votes. We’ve seen them all in the past few weeks alone.

Joe runs down the entire Hall of Fame roster and eliminates guys one by one who, if up for election today, wouldn’t be voted for by some people if they remained consistent with their currently-stated standards.  At the end, he has a Hall of Fame on which everyone can agree. Read his post to see what it looks like.  You can probably guess the size of its membership before you click through.

Joe is way too nice to say “F-You” to the Hall of Fame electorate in so many words.  But in this brilliant passive-aggressive post he does so in 4000 words.

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.