A minor programming note to pass along, as Major League Baseball has announced that every World Series game between the Rangers and Cardinals will begin at 8:05 p.m. ET.
This is welcome news in that the scheduling for the World Series last year was mostly hit or miss. We had one 8:20 p.m start due to NFL coverage on FOX, three 7:57 p.m. starts and one 6:57 p.m start.
This still isn’t a perfect set-up, as an afternoon game on a Saturday would be fantastic for fans, but as long as it isn’t 9 p.m. in the second inning, I’ll take it. Though with the way the starting pitching has fared for both teams recently, that might happen, anyway.
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.