Free agent right-hander Ryan Madson registered an impressive 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio across 60 2/3 innings this season for the NL East champion Phillies, collecting 32 saves in 34 opportunities.
He’ll be looking to cash in this winter as the most dominant reliever on the market. And it sure sounds like his suitors have already begun lining up.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, agent Scott Boras said Saturday that Madson is “receiving a lot of interest, including from a couple of teams we didn’t know we’re looking for a closer.”
Ignoring the fact that Boras sounds like a broken record with his whole “a lot of interest” shtick, it’s safe to wonder whether the 31-year-old Madson might be able to fetch a three-year deal this offseason worth close to $10 million annually.
Most teams would consider that too pretty of a penny for any relief pitcher, no matter how reliable. But keep in mind that the Yankees gave Rafael Soriano a three-year, $35 million contract just 10 months ago.
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.