Interesting note for tonight’s Red Sox-Yankees game, as Grady Sizemore will start in left field for the first time in his major league career. He hasn’t played the position since 2003 when he was in Double-A.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Red Sox manager John Farrell said he decided to go with Sizemore in left and Jackie Bradley, Jr. in center field because of the dimensions at Yankee Stadium and that it’s not necessarily a sign of things to come. Still, we could see a similar alignment when Shane Victorino comes off the disabled list, so it’s not a bad idea to see what Sizemore looks like out there. Boy, that could be an excellent defensive outfield.
It’s going to be a very tough call when Victorino is ready. If you include Mike Carp, they’ll have six outfielders for five spots. Bradley is certainly making a case to stick around.
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.