Derek Jeter went 1-for-4 with a single yesterday and in doing so surpassed Tony Gwynn on the all-time hit list, moving into a tie with Robin Yount for 17th place with 3,142 hits.
Next up is Paul Waner with 3,152, followed by George Brett with 3,154 and Cal Ripken Jr. with 3,184. If healthy Jeter should be able to pass all three easily by the end of the season even if his batting average falls significantly from his current .372 mark.
And if he keeps hitting well over .300 he also has a chance to pass Nap Lajoie with 3,242, Eddie Murray with 3,255, and Willie Mays with 3,283.
Based on his average production during the past three seasons Jeter has notched 1.23 hits per game and the Yankees have 128 games remaining. If he plays in, say, 120 of those 128 games and gets 1.23 hits per game Jeter would amass another 147 hits this season and climb to 3,289 for his career.
That would enable him to narrowly move past Mays in late September and finish the season ranked 11th on the all-time list, with Eddie Collins at 3,315 and Paul Molitor at 3,319 in his sights for 2013.
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.