Ozzie Guillen qualifies it by saying that shutting Jake Peavy down for the year will only happen if “I don’t think deep inside my heart and my guts that we have a chance,” but Ozzie has never been some naive optimist, and you have to figure he knows that this White Sox team doesn’t have a chance.
It’s tempting to call the White Sox’ moves to date busts already, but before you do that, you have to remember that neither Peavy nor Alex Rios were mere stretch run plays. They’re both under White Sox control for several years, and both could certainly be part of a contending Chicago team, maybe as early as next year.
I’m not going to give Kenny Williams a gold star for his recent moves — they speak to a certain schizophrenia and a failure to get a true read on where this club really is — but the book is certainly not closed yet, nor should it be.
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.