Drama continues to surround this Red Sox team.
According to Sean McAdam of CSN New England, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and right-hander Alfredo Aceves got into a “heated argument” on Saturday in the visitors dugout at Oakland’s O.Co Coliseum. It was all verbal, but they eventually had to be separated by third base coach Jerry Royster.
McAdam got the inside scoop after the game:
According to a source, the argument was the result of Aceves attempting to direct the positioning of the infielders. Defensive positioning in the infield is the purview of Royster, who doubles as the team’s infield instructor.
The source added that Pedroia, angry over Aceves’s directions, essentially told the volatile reliever to concentrate on pitching and that the infielders would focus on positioning themselves properly.
Aceves also dropped a pop-up in the previous half-inning after calling off multiple converging infielders. The Red Sox went on to lose the game 7-1 and have now dropped to 10 games below the .500 mark. It’s a mess.
UPDATE, 11:25 AM: MLB.com has video of the argument from the NESN (Red Sox) feed.
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.