Yesterday new Arizona general manager Kevin Towers revealed that he’d like to bring in future Hall of Famer and current Cubs special assistant Greg Maddux as the Diamondbacks’ pitching coach or bench coach.
However, just a few hours later Chicago general manager Jim Hendry threw cold water on that idea:
Greg and I have a really good relationship. Obviously Greg’s intent is to stay with the Cubs in 2011, doing exactly what he’s doing now. And I’m sure we’ll have some other expansive duties for him. I’ve had numerous conversations with his since Lou [Piniella] left, including the managerial process. Kevin and I are friends. I’m glad Kevin is back, it didn’t really bother me because I knew what Greg is going to do.
Hendry speaking for Maddux is interesting, as is the assumption that he’d prefer to remain a special assistant to the Cubs than be the Diamondbacks’ pitching coach, but Hendry certainly seems confident about Maddux staying in Chicago.
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.