Yasiel Puig does this so often. In the space of a couple of innings showing us everything that’s wonderful about him and showing us everything that he still has to learn.
Watch as, first, he fires a missile back to first base, nearly picking off Erick Aybar who had strayed too far off the bag on a fly to center. That’s what’s great. His aggressiveness and that arm which, occasionally, is going to make someone pay.
Then watch as he takes a mental break on another fly ball, allowing an alert and savvy Albert Pujols to tag up from first and go to second right in front of him despite the fact that he has walked and ran like Fred Sanford for about three or four years now.
Bonus: the Dikembe Mutumbo-style finger wag from Puig on the good play, and the “you got a lot to learn, son” head shaking from Pujols on the latter play. And of course, Vin Scully being on hand to describe it all.
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.