The Brewers opened their regular-season schedule with a home series against the Cardinals, so we haven’t been given a taste of what kind of vitriol Ryan Braun is in for this summer at road parks.
But that will change Monday when Braun and the Brewers head to Chicago for a four-game set against the Cubs. And new teammate Aramis Ramirez, who knows a thing or two about the crowd at Wrigley Field, is expecting the reaction to be rough.
A-Ram spoke about the subject Sunday with Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“I think it’s going to be ugly for Braun everywhere we go,” Ramirez said. “On the road, it’s going to be tough for him. He knows it. That’s no secret. Plus, he got a taste of it in spring training. Everywhere we go, he was getting booed.”
“But he’s a good player and he’s tough,” the Brewers third baseman concluded. “He’s tough mentally and I think he’s going to be OK. He’s a good enough player to separate that from his game.”
Braun, of course, had a 50-game PED suspension tossed out this offseason on a successful appeal of the sample-collecting process. He’s 4-for-12 with a homer and a walk through three games this year.
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.