Mike Quade went 24-13 as Chicago’s interim manager after taking over a 51-74 team from Lou Piniella in mid-August and today the Cubs announced that he’s been hired as the full-time skipper.
Quade will reportedly get a two-year contract with a team option for 2013.
Ryne Sandberg was the most popular candidate among Cubs fans and was named Triple-A manager of the year in his first season at Iowa, but Quade seemed to have the support of most Cubs players.
There’s no word yet on whether Sandberg will be asked to serve on Quade’s coaching staff, but it seems unlikely after being passed over for the job many assumed was his.
Prior to taking over for Piniella on an interim basis Quade was the Cubs’ third base coach for four seasons and spent 17 years managing and coaching in the minors, including serving as Iowa’s skipper from 2003-2006.
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.