Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com tells us that the Red Sox are starting to “pull
back” in their efforts to sign Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman.
The Red Sox were one of the first teams to offer Chapman a contract,
but as the price tag for the young fireballer has topped $20 million,
McAdam reports that the club has grown uncomfortable giving that amount
of money to someone they believe has a lot of “question marks.”
These “question marks” could be the whole unknown quantity thing, but
that didn’t shy them away from Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima or
Junichi Tazawa in the past. Like Jorge Arangure tweeted in regards to the Yankees on Friday night, it may have “more to do with makeup than money.”
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.