The Nationals made a run at free agent southpaw Cliff Lee before he signed with the Phillies. They also tried for right-hander Zack Greinke before the Royals dealt him to the Brewers.
The free agent market is mostly a scrap heap by now, but one top free agent pitcher remains and the Nationals are doing their best to bring him in.
According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Washington remains “in the mix” for Carl Pavano, who is expected to decide on a team within the next week or two.
Pavano, 34, posted a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 32 starts this past season for the Twins. He struck out 117 batters and walked only 33, amassing a six-year high 221 innings.
The Cubs, Brewers and Rangers have also expressed varying levels of interest and Minnesota may look into re-signing him if his price drops low enough. At the moment, the right-hander is thought to be seeking a three-year contract worth between $10-$11 million annually.
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.