Ervin Santana served up an AL-high 39 homers in 178 innings last season on the way to posting a 5.16 ERA that convinced the Angels to dump him on the Royals.
Santana made his Royals debut today and allowed three homers in six innings, as Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo, and Tyler Flowers all took him deep.
Bert Blyleven holds the single-season record for homers allowed with 50 in 1986, but he threw a league-leading 272 innings that season. Santana, who’s making $13 million this season, has now allowed 42 homers in his last 182 innings dating back to 2012. Just for comparison, Gio Gonzalez, Felix Hernandez, and Tim Hudson combined to allow 35 homers in 610 innings last season.
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.