According to Anthony DiComo and Adam Berry of MLB.com, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has left agent Paul Kinzer of the Wasserman Media Group and signed on with Scott Boras.
K-Rod is playing out the final chapter of a three-year, $37 million free agent contract that he signed with the Mets in December 2008. The deal carries a hefty $17.5 million option for 2012 that will vest if he finishes 55 games this season.
He’s on track right now, but New York could trade him to a team with an established closer and end that quest. So Rodriguez is preparing himself for free agency by hiring the best agent around.
Rodriguez, 29, has registered a 3.16 ERA and 46/16 K/BB ratio in 42 2/3 innings this season, saving 23 games in 26 chances. The right-hander has a sparkling 2.54 career ERA and 291 career saves.
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.