The L.A. Times’ Dylan Hernandez reports that Joe Torre has “said he has decided what he’ll do next year,” and that he has told his wife and Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti. He’s just not telling the public what it is yet.
Query: did Torre have an open invitation to come back that would allow him to simply decide to do so if he wanted to? His contract is up. The Dodgers have looked pretty awful, with many, many underachieving players this season. Is the decision to return — if that is his decision — really up to him and him alone? Not trying to start a “fire Joe Torre” thing here, but there are reasons other than Joe Torre’s personal wishes for him to not be back in blue next season, aren’t there?
So, if this was a decision he made alone it would, by definition, be that he’s retiring, no?
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.