This is not a repeat from last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that. Or really any year after 2006:
[Chavez’s agent says] Chavez is handling “pretty strenuous workouts’’ five days a week at Athletes Performance in Arizona just fine and “from our perspective, is completely healthy . . . Eric’s looking for the right opportunity, at the right time but his hope and desire is to be playing next season.”
I guess you could give him a non-roster invite, play him for nine innings in every single spring training game from the time they begin until the end of March, and then, if he hasn’t ‘asploded yet, maybe offer him a bench job. But really, I think everyone has been around this block enough times to where even that is pushing it a bit.
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.