I’m kind of torn here: I find both Tony La Russa and Nyjer Morgan kind of insufferable, so when one calls out the other — as La Russa does to Morgan in his upcoming book — I’m not sure what to do!
“When you play a team 18 times during the regular season, there’s bound to be some sparks, especially when both clubs have similarly aggressive styles,” La Russa says about the Brewers. “That’s good competitive action, but what Morgan said in that same tweet – that we’d be watching the postseason on television – didn’t fit into that category, and neither did his actions in that game. What he did was: Unwise. Uncalled for. Not forgotten.”
After the game, Morgan tweeted taunting words about the Cardinals, including a reference to Pujols as “Alberta.”
OK, I have to side with La Russa. For one thing, even if he annoys me sometimes he’s been around the block and is an all-time great. But more importantly — as I wrote last year — Nyjer was out-of-bounds and was seriously lacking some self-awareness last year when he cranked up that nonsense.
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.