Daron Sutton has been the Diamondbacks’ television play-by-play announcer since 2007, but last week he was removed from the team’s broadcasts without explanation.
Senior vice president of communications Josh Rawitch said only that “we’ve made a change in the broadcast-talent lineup” and “Daron will be taking some time off.”
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic finds the whole situation very odd, writing: “You can’t remove a play-by-play guy out of the broadcast booth during the middle of the season without explanation, from a team with great television ratings, at a time when the Diamondbacks are finally finding a groove, and expect muted compliance from the masses.”
And yet the Diamondbacks have done just that, with managing general partner Ken Kendrick declining to comment yesterday except to say it was “a personnel matter” and “I suspect the situation will become clear soon enough.”
Adding to the drama is that Sutton is scheduled to work the FOX national game Saturday, which is Diamondbacks versus Brewers.
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.