Kerry Wood took less money to sign with the Cubs as a free agent this offseason and then turned down a chance to potentially join a contender at the trade deadline, so not surprisingly he’s also interested in re-signing for 2012.
Wood will be a free agent this offseason and should draw plenty of interest following a strong season in which he’s thrown 42 innings with a 3.24 ERA and 48/18 K/BB ratio in a setup role, but the 34-year-old said during a radio interview today that “hopefully Chicago would like to have me back.”
Wood is earning $1.5 million after turning down more lucrative offers from several teams, including the crosstown White Sox, and has indicated previously that he’d basically like to be a Cub for life. His stance on that apparently hasn’t changed despite longtime friend Jim Hendry being fired as general manager last week, with Wood calling it “part of the game.”
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.