Cliff Lee was a one-man gang in tonight’s 12-2 victory over the Marlins. In addition to allowing two runs over eight innings while striking out 14 batters, he went 3-for-4 and drove in a career-high four runs. My goodness. I’m not sure it’s possible to dominate a team more thoroughly than that.
As for his exploits on offense, Lee had a bases-loaded two-run single in the third inning, an RBI triple in the fifth, and another RBI single in the seventh. The veteran southpaw improved to 14-6 with the victory while the 14 strikeouts gave him his fourth double-digit strikeout game of the season. Just icing on the cake, with tonight’s performance, Lee surpassed the 200-inning mark for the sixth straight season and 200 strikeouts for the third straight year.
The stats below provide further context about Lee’s remarkable night. Needless to say, we don’t see this sort of thing very often.
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.