Ken Rosenthal has a great feature today on Brian Roberts, who missed a huge chunk of time battling back from multiple concussions:
“I had so many people say, ‘You looked like you were looking right through me,’” Roberts says. “From the outside looking in, the brain is such a complicated thing, people just don’t understand. I don’t blame them for that. There are a lot of things in life, when you look from the outside, you don’t understand.
“But when people are questioning whether you want to play the game, that’s really hard. It’s hard enough going through it with support. It’s even worse going through it with people questioning you.”
It’s a good read that, unfortunately comes after a couple of awful years for Roberts. It’ll be good to see him back in the game on a regular basis.
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.