MASN’s Roch Kubatko thinks some of the remaining free agents on the market should consider lowering their asking prices.
Adrian Beltre, for instance, is still seeking $10-$15 million annually. Plenty of teams are interested in the defensively stellar third baseman, but not at that price. Adam LaRoche is rumored to be asking for a three-year, $30 million deal. He’s out of his mind if he thinks that’s coming. Ben Sheets reportedly wants $12 million, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch since September of 2008.
With so many free agents still looking for employment, baseball’s vaunted free agency period has suddenly blossomed into a buyer’s market and teams aren’t going to fork over major multi-year deals. Even Matt Holliday and Jason Bay are struggling to find offers that appeal to them.
Most of us saw this coming. Revenues are down all over the league and team philosophies have shifted more toward development. But super-agent Scott Boras seems plenty surprised and a whole lot of veteran players are going to be jobless come March and April.
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.