The text message appeared, and Eric Hosmer took a moment to study the invitation on the face of his phone. This was a few weeks ago, and Hosmer was back home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. And now, some 36-year-old major-league veteran with a south Florida address was interrupting his offseason with a simple offer.

"Hey, this is Alex … you're welcome whenever you want to come hit."

So you may know that Hosmer, the Royals' 22-year-old first baseman, is a baseball junkie, a kid who built something of a legendary reputation as a teenager for his marathon workouts. But these days, Hosmer can admit he's learned at least one more thing about working out during his first offseason as a major-leaguer: When Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez invites you for a private hitting session, you find a way to be there.

"It's an opportunity you can't really pass up," Hosmer says.