Chance Ruffin couldn’t technically be traded until now because the 2010 supplemental first-round pick hadn’t been under contract for a year, but reports pegged him as the player to be named later in the Doug Fister trade last month and today the Tigers and Mariners made it official.
The full deal: Detroit gets Fister and reliever David Pauley. Seattle gets Ruffin, Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells, and Francisco Martinez.
And the Mariners wasted no time calling up Ruffin, adding the 22-year-old reliever to the bullpen for tonight’s game. Ruffin previously had a brief stint with the Tigers and the former University of Texas star was dominant in the minors with a 2.03 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 49 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. He projects as a late-inning bullpen option and potential closer.
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.