Cardinals ace Darryl Kile passed away 10 years ago today on June 22, 2002.
Fresh off seasons of 20 and 16 wins, Kile was still pretty much in his baseball prime at 33 when he died of a heart attack brought on by coronary disease. His body was found in his hotel room after he didn’t show up for the Cardinals’ game at Wrigley Field, and Cubs catcher Joe Girardi took to the field just before start time to announce the game was cancelled. A little while later, the reason was given.
Joe Strauss has an excellent remembrance of him over at Stltoday.com.
Kile’s death came just days after legendary Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck died. He was the most famous active player to die since Yankee great Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash in 1979. A three-time All-Star, he had a record of 133-119 with a 4.12 ERA. In his three seasons with the Cardinals, he was 41-24 with a 3.54 ERA.
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.