It seems like Orioles’ starter Jeremy Guthrie has been a named candidate for a midseason trade since sometime during the Nixon administration. And he fits the bill: a good starter but no ace, playing for a team that isn’t going anywhere and not yet expensive. Heck, a lot of teams would like to have someone like that.
Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun does not think Guthrie will be traded, however. It’s just a little tidbit buried in his notes column this morning, but it’s Zrebiec’s view that the O’s will keep him, either until this winter or maybe even until next season’s trading deadline.
Zrebiec’s take on the state of the O’s is almost always a good one and a smart one. I wish he’d explain this a bit more here, however, because I don’t quite get why Baltimore wouldn’t shop him (of if he has explained so in the past and I have just missed it, I’d ask that someone point me to his reasoning). Because Guthrie is the archetypal midseason trade bait, no?
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.