Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times reports that Bud Selig is not at all happy that the McCourt case is still dragging on:
. . . according to four people who have spoken with him, Selig is dismayed at
the public spectacle surrounding the divorce and concerned about the
potential for lasting damage to the league and its flagship West Coast
franchise. He has told those people he wants the Dodgers’ ownership
situation resolved long before his scheduled retirement in 2012.
The rest of the article is spent musing over what, if any, options Selig and Major League Baseball have to hasten the resolution of this mess. The answer seems to be “none.” He can’t force a sale because that would foment more litigation — probably from Frank — and could harm the value of the team even worse than it’s currently being harmed. He can’t intervene in the lawsuit even if the court would let him — which I doubt it would — because that would make things even messier.
I guess the only thing he can do is to make sure that he doesn’t allow someone to buy a baseball team on store credit again, thereby preventing this from repeating itself in the future. Because people with cash know how to deal with ugly litigation: they settle it. Quietly.
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.