Finally, confirmation that Phil Hughes is in The Best Shape of His Life

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We’ve had several stories about Phil Hughes’ conditioning this winter. Word that the Yankees didn’t like that he was out of shape last year. Word that he was re-dedicating himself to conditioning this offseason.

Because of the uncertainty, Kopy, our resident keeper of the BSOHL roster, has had Hughes listed in the “awaiting confirmation” category, with all of us waiting to see which New York writer was the first to get to Tampa and write “Phil Hughes looks good.”  The winner of that derby is Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:

 

I think the “buffed up” seals it.  I defer to Kopy on this one because he’s the keeper of the roster, but this has to take Hughes out of “awaiting confirmation” and into … the BSOHL.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.