UPDATE: It’s done. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Mets have signed Carrasco to a two-year contract.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that he’ll make $2.5 million in the deal, so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape about this one. Good value signing.
5:17 PM: Free agent reliever D.J. Carrasco and the Mets “are working on a two-year deal,” according to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
General manager Sandy Alderson has said that the Mets are likely to be mostly bystanders this winter, shopping for low-cost role players instead of trying to make a big splash, and Carrasco fits the bill as an underrated pickup.
Arizona had MLB’s worst bullpen ERA by a full run this season and Carrasco was only due for a raise to around $1.5 million, so it’s tough to explain why they non-tendered him. After spending 2006 and 2007 in the minors and transitioning to the bullpen full time he’s had ERAs of 3.96, 3.76, and 3.68 with 157 strikeouts in 210 innings and a .255/.327/.356 opponents’ line in the past three years.
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.