Jim Riggleman resigned, John McLaren replaced him as interim manager for a weekend, Davey Johnson was hired as the full-time manager, and now the Nationals have fired first base coach Dan Radison.
It certainly makes sense that Johnson would want to put together his own coaching staff and doing so in the middle of a season can be problematic, but then again before taking over as manager Johnson was in the Nationals’ front office anyway.
Presumably he didn’t have a problem with Radison previously. Or perhaps it turns out Radison had a problem working for Johnson or at least not working for Riggleman, and didn’t realize it right away?
Whatever the case, Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Trent Jewitt will replace Radison as first base coach. Radison had held the job since November of 2009 and was a coach on Riggleman’s staffs with the Cubs and Padres as well. Jewitt was previously the Nationals’ Triple-A manager.
Riggleman stepped down with a 38-37 record, after which McLaren went 2-1 and Johnson has gone 0-3.
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.