The other day Brett Ballantini of CSNChicago.com reported that Ozzie Guillen was going to sit down with Adam Dunn sometime soon and discuss a reduced role for the big guy down the stretch. It seems now that the conversation has been had. Here’s Ozzie Guillen via the Associated Press:
“I don’t know yet. I talked to him we had a little chat. It went nice. He understood my point, I understood his point. Obviously I’m going to (play) the guys that swing the bat good but are you’re going to see him? I can’t say no because he will play some day.”
Dunn has sat for two straight games and there is likely a lot more bench in his immediate future. As Ballantini reported, Dunn pretty much knows the score. He’s hitting .163/.290/.289 in perhaps the worst fall-off-a-cliff season for an elite hitter in living memory. He’s never complained about much in his career, so he’s not likely to start now.
And hey, there are only three more years and $44 million left on that deal, so there’s that.
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.