Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has an update this morning on free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero.
The nuts and bolts? The Rangers want Vlad to return, but they can’t commit a multi-million dollar contract to him until they know how they stand in the running for free agent left-hander Cliff Lee.
Guerrero batted .300/.345/.496 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI in 152 games this past season for Texas, helping the club to its first World Series appearance. In a market thin on power hitters he should draw some interest, but the 35-year-old has lost the ability to play the outfield and probably won’t want to sign with a non-contender in the twilight years of his baseball career.
The Rangers really are an ideal fit. Guerrero has stellar career numbers inside the Ballpark at Arlington and he was asked to play the field only a handful of times in 2010. He can stay healthy, and the Rangers can benefit off a bat that still packs a punch. Now if only that Lee guy would hurry up and sign.
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.