As expected, the Dodgers announced that Juan Uribe will undergo season-ending sports hernia surgery, bringing a premature end to his disastrous first season in Los Angeles.
Uribe parlayed a productive 2010 and the Giants’ championship run into a three-year, $21 million deal from the Dodgers and then hit just .204 with a .557 OPS in 77 games before being shut down. That’s well below his career norms, but 31-year-olds with sub-.300 on-base percentages tend to be likely candidates for collapse.
Without the multi-year contract Uribe might struggle to find more than a modest one-year deal on the open market, but the Dodgers are stuck paying him $8 million in 2012 and $7 million in 2013. And they also owe him $1 million worth of deferred payments in 2014.
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.