A bit of news from the “obvious” stack this weekend.
As reported by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have no intention of trading outfielder Matt Kemp despite his down season.
“I’ve never floated his name,” Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said Saturday.
“He’s a gifted, five-tool player. He’s getting better and better. He’s
had a tough couple of months. It’s a baseball career. It’s not a
baseball two months. … I have no intention of moving him.”
And that’s how it should be. Kemp is batting just .258/.313/.463 this season, well off his career pace of .291/.340/.477, but he’s only 25 and even the greatest superstars (not named Albert Pujols) go through a disappointing season or two. He has a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in his trophy case and he hit 26 home runs, tallied 101 RBI and swiped 34 stolen bases last season for Los Angeles. Sure, the Dodgers could use a couple of starters, but selling low on potential greatness would be downright foolish.
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.