Yesterday’s report of hard feelings between Jason Marquis and the Rockies is being denied by both parties. Dan O’Dowd: “There was no falling out. He was extremely professional about it. It wasn’t an issue at all.” Marquis says that not getting a start in the NLDS was no big deal: “I was prepared to pitch Game 4, but when you have a
guy throwing 97 with devastating stuff coming back on normal rest, I
can see why they would come back with him.”
Marquis says he’d come back to Colorado if it were in the cards, but that given the Rockies lowball offer — one piddlin’ non-guaranteed year — it’s not in the cards.
Heyman had the report of the bad blood, passing it along in a tweet with no background. Rosenthal’s debunking comes with quotes from both parties involved. It’s not unheard of for people to be less than honest in these situations — “professionalism” often means denying your true feelings — but unless Heyman’s got something else to back him up here, I’m going to assume he got some bad information.
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.