The Nationals have signed Oliver Perez to a minor league deal, says Yahoo!’s Tim Brown.
Low risk and low money, so why not? At the moment the Nats’ depth chart has a rotation of Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmermann, Tom Gorzelanny and John Lannan. I’m struggling to see which of those guys is supposed to be a worse option than Ollie Perez, but it’s not like it would be unexpected for a couple of them to stink up the joint. Maybe if Ollie can figure something out down in the minors he’ll be some useful cannon fodder for the Nats at some point.
And if not? Hey, you’ve raised the morale of the other pitchers in the organization who see that, yes, it is possible to be even more hittable and walk-tastic than they already are.
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.