Anyone can give Derek Jeter cowboy boots, rocking chairs or the like for his retirement gift. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has a more personalized idea for the Captain. A picture of “the homer run,” referring to the Jeffrey Maier home run in the 1996 ALCS:
“I would give him a big picture of the home run,” Showalter told reportersMonday before Baltimore’s 11-3 win over the Yankees. “Well, it wasn’t a home run. We know that. That’s what I’d give him. A big picture and have the whole Baltimore Orioles team sign it. That’s a good idea. That’s cheap, too, right? Make it in bronze or something. Not that we remember that at all.”
I suppose that quip will make some Orioles fans happy. I suppose Jeter giving Showalter replicas of the five World Series rings he won since Showalter was fired as Yankees manager would make Jeter happy.
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.