Hello friends. And That Happened is coming this morning, but it will be a bit delayed. The reason: those two to the right. For those who don’t know, the green fellow is Ballapeno, the mascot of the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League. The other fellow is the unfortunately named Henry the Puffy Taco. He’s like a secondary mascot. Or tertiary. There’s a big bag of groceries mascot too. Don’t ask.
Point is, I’m in San Antonio, Texas and last night I took in the Springfield Cardinals vs. San Antonio Missions game. It was sweet, even if the Missions lost. And after it was over we stopped at a taco truck because Texas is awesome like that. And it was a somewhat late night and I’m now on Central Time for the next few days, so the usual 5:58 AM And That Happened will be a bit delayed.
The rest of the day will be normal. Well, except for the fact that you can’t get Henry the Puffy Taco out of your head now. And you never, ever will be able to.
Oh, and I bought Mookie and Carlo a stuffed Ballapeno. I didn’t dare buy them a stuffed Henry the Puffy Taco.
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.