The Nationals were very patient while Chien-Ming Wang rehabbed from shoulder surgery. And now that he’s back in the big leagues, it appears they are working to keep him in the fold for 2012.
According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Wang’s agent Alan Nero said the two sides are in the “preliminary stages” of negotiations about a contract extension.
Wang re-signed with the Nationals last winter, inking an incentive-laden one-year, $1 million contract. Entering play this afternoon, the 32-year-old right-hander has a 4.31 ERA and 21/13 K/BB ratio in 56 1/3 innings over 10 starts since returning in late-July. He hasn’t walked a batter in each of his last three starts. The sinkerballer has a ground ball rate of 53.4 percent this season, which is almost exactly where he was when he last appeared in the majors in 2009.
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.