UPDATE: Done deal. Two years and “between $5 and $6 million.”
Let go by the Mets last month when the two sides couldn’t agree to a new contract before a sign-or-cut deadline, left-hander Hisanori Takahashi is “close to agreeing to a multi-year deal with the Angels,” writes David Waldstein of the New York Times.
According to various reports at the time the Mets were offering only a one-year deal, while Takahashi was holding out for a multi-year offer that he apparently found with the Angels.
Takahashi started and relieved for the Mets as a 35-year-old rookie, but Waldstein indicates that the Angels are likely to use him in the bullpen. He went 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 122 innings overall, including 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA, .206 opponents’ batting average, and 60/22 K/BB ratio in 57 innings as a reliever.
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.