FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Giants
are on the verge of signing have signed Aubrey Huff to a two-year extension worth $22 million, plus a club option for 2013.
Huff hit .290/.385/.506 with 26 homers and 86 RBIs this year while playing a little left a little right but mostly first base. He started slow, but caught fire in May, June and July before fading in August and September. Still, the Giants would have watched the playoffs from home without him and they certainly could use his pop next season, because there are no sure things in that lineup other than Buster Posey. Huff certainly wanted to stay in San Francisco, and now he will.
As for the deal: I think it’s pretty good for both sides. Huff was a bargain at $3 million in 2010, and he made good as his contract essentially demanded that he do. I expect a falloff — his 2010 was much like his 2008, but the levels he showed between 2005 and 2007 and in 2009 may be a safer bet — but at only two years he’s worth the gamble.
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.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”