Boras shoots down idea of Royals locking up Hosmer

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Those who follow the Kansas City Royals expected Eric Hosmer to be a star.

But they probably didn’t expect him to hit home runs on consecutive days in the Bronx and lead back-to-back victories over the New York Yankees. They also probably didn’t expect they would have to consider the 21-year-old’s departure from Kansas City so soon, either.

There is already talk in Kansas City that the Royals should try to lock up Hosmer – who has played all of six games in the majors – to a long-term contract. It worked for the Tampa Bay Rays with Evan Longoria, so why wouldn’t it work for the Royals? Well there is one huge reason why the stragegy might not work: Scott Boras.

From Jeff Passan of Yahoo!:

Agent Scott Boras on Thursday shot down any hopes the Kansas City Royals had of signing burgeoning star Eric Hosmer to a long-term extension, telling Yahoo! Sports he expects massive increases in television revenue to change the landscape of salaries in baseball.

“Athletes have to know that you have to look at the market you’re in,” Boras said. “You can’t look at the markets of the past. For players like Hosmer, as you go back and look, as [Mark] Teixeira had his own market and [Prince] Fielder had his own market, Hosmer will have his own. And something tells me it’s going to be a rather eventful one.”

Well so much for that idea.

Boras said he expects the market to be vastly different by the time Hosmer becomes a free agent, and that increased revenues will trickle down to lower-revenue teams like the Royals. Whether or not that means Kansas City will have the resources to retain Hosmer remains to be seen. And frankly, it’s far too early to tell.

Hosmer is not eligible to be a free agent until after the 2017 season, and a lot can happen in the meantime. Boras’ market predictions could prove to be way off. The economy could undergo another down period. Hosmer could end up being merely a decent player. There is also the possibility that Hosmer could overrule Boras and opt for the security of an extended deal, like Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies did last winter.

So don’t panic just yet, Royals fans. Just enjoy the moment.

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Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.