Amid speculation that he could the next Royal to be traded, Joakim Soria told Robert Espinosa of Mexican paper Vanguard that he wouldn’t block a deal to the Yankees, who are on his no-trade list.
In fact, Soria said his no-trade list — which also consists of the Red Sox, Phillies, Tigers, Cardinals and Cubs — was included by his agent for strategic purposes.
In other words, it’s entirely negotiable. Hypothetically, Soria’s agent could leverage the no-trade clause in order to get a team like the Yankees to pick up (or agree to decline) his club options through 2014 or even negotiate a contract extension in order to complete a trade. Or, like Zack Greinke, he might waive it for nothing whatsoever. It’s a smart move.
By the way, are you one of those people who think the Royals have nothing to lose by stretching out Soria out as a starting pitcher during spring training? Well, Soria isn’t on board with that idea. He specifically told Espinosa that he isn’t interested in being a starter.
(Hat-tip to MLB Trade Rumors for the link)
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.