Last month I angered a bunch of Rangers fans by using Michael Young reaching 2,000 hits to point out that the 2,000-hit club has a relatively big membership compared to similar statistical milestones that receive much less attention.
Some people–including A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy–took that as a knock on Young, whereas my intention was merely to show that reaching 2,000 hits is something multiple players accomplish every season, at rates similar to reaching 250 homers or 150 wins.
In fact, yesterday Juan Pierre became the eighth player to reach 2,000 hits this year alone. Preceding him into the 2,000-hit club this season were Young, Carlos Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Paul Konerko, Scott Rolen, and Adrian Beltre.
Next in line for membership? Placido Polanco (1,948), Jason Giambi (1,945), Derrek Lee (1,940), Carlos Beltran (1,895), Andruw Jones (1,880), and Jimmy Rollins (1,846). So there might only be four or five new members in 2012.
To quote Konerko: “It’s nice. It’s a round number.”
(I apologize in advance to everyone offended by this post. I’m just a menace to society.)
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.