Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is one of five finalists for the National League All-Star final vote. So, too, is teammate and outfielder Yasiel Puig. Despite logging more than 200 fewer at-bats, Puig leads Gonzalez in Wins Above Replacement, 2.4 to 1.9, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs has Puig leading Gonzalez 1.9 to 1.5.
For ostensibly altruistic and not statistical reasons, Gonzalez is supporting Puig for the Final Vote.
Via MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick:
“For me, personally, I want Puig to go,” said Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star. “I’m voting for Puig.”
“That’s what the fans want to see,” said Gonzalez, who was wearing a Puig 66 shirt while being interviewed. “It’s from the heart.”
Gonzalez admits he would feel differently if he had never been an All-Star.
“No, then I’d want to go,” he said. “But that’s why I want him to go.”
Said manager Don Mattingly: “I’m voting for both.”
Puig has taken the baseball world by storm since making his Major League debut on June 3. After going 2-for-4 in this afternoon’s victory over the Giants, Puig is hitting .409 with 17 extra-base hits (eight of which are home runs) and five stolen bases.
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.