I hadn’t thought about it much, but someone on Twitter said it to me this morning and it’s hard to deny it, even if you set aside your pro-baseball prejudices:
Between the hockey lockout, the NFL referee lockout and other drama and the fact that the NBA seems to be turning into some sort of weird league in which there are four or five Harlem Globetrotter teams and the rest are Washington Generals, there is a pretty damn strong argument that Bud Selig is the best commissioner in the major sports.
Sure, we can all sharpshoot problems like the A’s/San Jose thing, TV blackouts and instant replay stuff. But there really isn’t one problem in all of baseballdom right now that goes to the center of the leagues viability, popularity or competitive integrity. And no other sport can say the same.
All hail Bud.
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.