Earlier this week Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia spoke out about what he believed was unfair treatment by the Toronto media back when he was with the Blue Jays, suggesting that “the media made me out to be a monster” and that played a part in his being let go.
He might have to come up with a similar theory for the Texas media now, because today the Rangers demoted Arencibia to Triple-A less than two months into a one-year, $1.8 million contract.
Arencibia earned the demotion by hitting .133 in 20 games for the Rangers, just as he earned being let go by the Blue Jays by hitting .194 in 138 games last season. He’ll be back in the majors because catchers with 20-homer power are always hard to find, but Arencibia is a career .208 hitter with perhaps MLB’s worst plate discipline. If anything the media has been kind when describing his performance as a big leaguer.
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.