While appearing on WFAN radio in New York today Peter Gammons said that he thinks Bobby Valentine will be the Mets’ next manager. Thanks to Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com, here’s the transcript:
I think there are two things: One, he has a history and a good working relationship with Omar Minaya. And two, he is one guy that, though Jeff Wilpon will not always like what he hears from Bobby, I think they can have a relationship where Bobby could say to Jeff, “No, we’re not doing this, that’s the wrong thing,” and in the end they’ll win out together, because they have a mutual respect. I just think now is the right time to bring Bobby back.
Valentine is at the point now where he’s basically linked to every managerial opening and he was nearly hired by the Marlins earlier this season.
He managed the Mets from 1996 to 2002 and made the playoffs just twice in six full seasons, but one of the playoff appearances was a trip to the World Series and he had a .534 winning percentage overall. Cerrone would be on board with the move, saying that Valentine “is exactly the type of person you mold your team around” and “he embodies everything Mets fans are about.”
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.