As our own Craig Calcaterra noted on Twitter from the winter meetings in Indianapolis, “there’s a reason he gets all the news.”
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Mariners have initiated long-term contract discussions with ace Felix Hernandez, but the two sides seem “far apart” at the moment.
Hernandez, 23, is under team control
for two more seasons. He’ll likely seek somewhere around $20 million
per season, so the Mariners’ four-year, $45 million offer won’t get it
done. According to Rosenthal, Hernandez is willing to go year-to-year
in arbitration before seeking a “C.C. Sabathia-type contract” in free
Hernandez earned $3.8 million last season and figures to earn somewhere around $7 million in 2010.
Aside from Zack Greinke, Hernandez was arguably the game’s best pitcher in 2009. The young right-hander was 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
and 217 strikeouts in 238 1/3 innings pitched. 29 of Hernandez’s 34
starts were “quality starts,” leading the majors. He finished second in the AL Cy Young, earning two first-place votes.
On the surface, today’s report doesn’t give us a lot of information, but with the rumored signing of Chone Figgins, it’s clear that the Mariners are committed to winning.
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.