That’s the name Jorge Arangure proposes for the past couple of decades over at Sports on Earth. And he makes a lot of sense, noting that not unlike Forrest Gump, Tejada has been involved in nearly every notable controversy, movement, trend or occurrence over the course of his career.
His poor Dominican roots mirror those of the players who have literally changed the face of Major League Baseball (as did his role in an age-lying scandal). He was on the “Moneyball” A’s. He was involved in BALCO and The Mitchell Report. He also represents a breed of players who some figured would just go away but never have: guys who made their millions and ceased being superstars but continued to hang on and transform into a role player because, despite what people like to claim about rich athletes, he really, really loves to play baseball.
It’s a nice full profile of a player who, like a lot of Latin ballplayers, unfortunately, we’ve only really gotten to know in caricature. Kudos to Arangure for writing profiles like this and bringing us the stories of players who, for multiple reasons, tend to be kept at arm’s length from most fans.
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.