Schilling

Report: Curt Schilling’s claim that someone suggested he use PEDs was “completely baseless”

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More fallout from the Curt Schilling controversy from last week.  Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston has two sources with direct knowledge of the 2008 investigation into Schilling’s claims that a Red Sox employee suggested he take PEDs telling him that the claim by Schilling was “completely baseless.”

Theo Epstein and a spokesman for Major League Baseball said last week there was an investigation and that it did not result in discipline (more comment from Theo here).  This report, however, seems to take it a bit further, suggesting not only was no wrongdoing found but suggesting that Schilling made it all up.  For his part, Schilling stands by the story.

This has become such a weird story. I still wonder why initial responses from MLB and from Jed Hoyer suggested no knowledge of the incident. But that could be just a quirk of memory or a matter of people not fully authorized to say things vamping for time until official statements could be made.  This stuff — the suggestion that Schilling was crying wolf — was even weirder.

Maybe a function of Schilling’s then well known dispute with the Red Sox about how to treat his injured shoulder? He wants surgery, they suggest treatment and medication and he, being the dramatic sort, takes that to be a suggestion to take PEDs?

No idea, but with Schilling I suppose anything is possible.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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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.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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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.