According to Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, the Tigers have made inquiries to Mark Buehrle. Watch as Henning sets phasers to “every Mark Buehrle cliche you’ve ever heard”:
The Tigers aren’t talking about Buehrle, although it’s known they have been one of many clubs inquiring what it might take to sign the fast-working, strikes-throwing, innings-gulping, finesse left-hander who is [Kenny] Rogers’ virtual clone in style and consistency.
The funny thing about all of the Buehrle reports: each time a Buehrle rumor is mentioned, it is said “but there are so many teams interested in him that the price may get too rich for [latest rumored suitor].” Which sort of reminds me of that Yogi Berra line about the restaurant: “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”
Someone’s gonna sign him, right?
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.