I’m already miles beyond sick of people talking about Alex Rodriguez, but as a 30-year-old writer I’m amused by a 42-year-old general manager quoting Jay Z on the subject, like Rick Hahn of the White Sox did yesterday:
But Hahn mostly stayed away from the drama. He chose instead to focus on his team, which is in the midst of its longest losing streak in 37 years. … “You’ve seen this team play recently: I’ve got 99 problems and A-Rod ain’t one of them,” Hahn said with a smile.
In his first season since taking over for Kenny Williams the White Sox have plummeted to the second-worst record in baseball at 41-69, including 13 losses in the last 15 games.
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.