TBS announced that Pedro Martinez will join their broadcast crew for the playoffs, with the future Hall of Famer teaming with Tom Verducci as analysts alongside studio host Keith Olbermann.
As for what he’ll bring to the table, Martinez told the Associated Press:
Some of us, when we go up to the booth and look at the game down on the field, sometimes we tend to forget how difficult the game is and how uncomfortable it is to execute under pressure. .. As a baseball player, I always recognized when I didn’t do something right. I didn’t have a problem with anybody saying, “He didn’t execute.”
Without naming any specific names it’s definitely true that being outspoken and a good quote as a player doesn’t necessarily equate to being a good television analyst, but I’m optimistic about Pedro being pretty entertaining.
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.