The A’s only tallied three hits off Tigers ace Justin Verlander in Saturday’s ALDS Game 1 loss at Comerica Park. Through three innings Sunday, Oakland already has five hits against Doug Fister.
Cliff Pennington and Coco Crisp hit back-to-back singles to open the top of the third, then Yoenis Cespedes drove Pennington in with a base hit of his own. Crisp nearly scored when Brandon Moss punched a pitch to right field in the next at-bat, but the Tigers’ Avisail Garcia threw a dart to home plate and Gerald Laird made a nice, quick tag to nab the Oakland speedster. So it could have been much worse for Detroit.
The Tigers marched back in the bottom of the frame when Miguel Cabrera hit a one-out double and Delmon Young drove him in from third base on a slow-rolling grounder. The score is 1-1 as we open the fourth.
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.