I know baseball loves the unbalanced schedule because it gives them a boatload of Yankees-Red Sox and Dodgers-Gians games to broadcast, but it also makes for some super crappy games like the one we saw (read: no one saw) last night in D.C. between the Dodgers and the Nats.
The Nats beat the Dodgers, 4-0, but not after a 3-hour, 17-minute rain delay emptied the stadium and chased off starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann. The game ended at 1:21 a.m. — long after the Metro stopped running, which would’ve required fans who actually wanted to sit through rain to leave early — and the whole evening lasted 6 hours, 16 minutes from first pitch to final out.
The grounds crew should probably be lauded for keeping the field in playing shape, but this is one that, were this not the Dodgers’ only visit to D.C. thanks to the unbalanced schedule, would have been suspended or postponed. Instead we got a game no one saw.
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.