Buster Olney says that CC Sabathia has lost 30 pounds this winter. To which I say: wow.
Still, I’m not going to slap with this with “best shape of his life” for a couple of reasons. Most directly, because I remember when CC was a young Cleveland Indian, and it would probably take more than a 30 pound loss for him to truly be in the best shape of his life.
But more to the point: Sabathia is one of the few guys in baseball who probably didn’t have a big need to lose weight. Oh, this will help — his knee is getting wonky and the less weight on it the better — but if it weren’t for that, he could probably do fine with some extra poundage. So much of Sabathia’s weight is below his waist, and that provides him with some serious stumps for planting.
Or not. Maybe someone who knows a lick about physical fitness and pitching mechanics can tell me I’m wrong. It just seems that Sabathia has had less of a struggle with stamina or any of the other problems one would think being big would cause than most big guys do. Indeed, he’s had more stamina than most pitchers in the game.
Either way, though, good for him for dropping some pounds.
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.