I guess we’re going there now. From the Philadelphia Daily News:
The story is fine enough. One of many focusing on Trout’s return to the Philly area yesterday. It’s framed by a couple of interesting Raul Ibanez quotes. One in which Ibanez talks about how his own son took Trout’s lead on physical fitness more than his own dad’s — the hook for the idea that, sometimes, non-parental role models are necessary — and ends with Ibanez talking about Trout “respects the game” and respects lots of other things.
I obviously have no issue with Mike Trout — I’m a pretty big fan boy if you haven’t noticed — but I really wish we wouldn’t play the “role model” card with him or any other athletes. I have no reason to suspect there’s anything wrong with Trout, but if at any point he shows himself to be human and has a moment of human frailty or fault in the next, oh, 20 years or so, he’s going to be hit harder than he should be simply because some reporters decided that he was a good role model once.
I realize I’m always going to lose this fight — those people are always going to want autographs and will always put them on pedestals of one form or another — but I wish we could just let ballplayers be ballplayers.
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.