Well, it’s officially official.
According to ESPN’s Gordon Edes, the Cubs have announced that Dale Sveum will become the team’s next manager. He’s to be introduced at a press conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in Chicago.
Sveum was offered the job on Wednesday evening after a second in-person interview, then issued his official acceptance on Thursday afternoon after recieving a visit at his hotel from new Cubs president Theo Epstein and new Cubs GM Jed Hoyer.
The now-former Brewers hitting coach has only managed on an interim basis in the major leagues, but he was regarded as a rising star in the profession down in the minors and he should have no trouble picking up the intricacies of the job at the next level. Sveum was also a candidate for Boston’s opening, but they’re now expected to extend their search into next week and there are reports that it might even last into December.
Sveum becomes the 52nd manager in Cubs history. He was given a three-year contract.
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.