Bobby Valentine

Report: Bobby Valentine will be the next manager of the Red Sox

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UPDATE: He’s back. Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston confirms that Bobby Valentine will indeed be the next manager of the Red Sox.

Valentine was offered the job while he was away on personal business in Japan and immediately accepted. He is expected to fly back home tomorrow while CSNNE.com reports that he will likely be introduced as Boston’s new skipper during a press conference Thursday.

Valentine, now 61 years old, hasn’t managed in the majors since 2002. He has a 1117-1072 record (.510) over 15 seasons between the Rangers and Mets.

While Valentine has his fair share of critics (and enemies) around the game, baseball is more fun with him in the dugout. Or at least more interesting. And with the Red Sox still reeling from one of the worst collapses in baseball history, this will be a fascinating situation to watch.

7:13 PM: Nothing official from the team yet, but Mike Lynch of WCVB-TV in Boston is reporting that the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine have reached a “verbal agreement” for him to be the team’s next manager.

We have heard conflicting reports this afternoon about whether Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont is still in the mix for the job. As of this evening, Lamont was told that he is still a candidate.

Valentine is expected to return from Japan tomorrow, so we’ll likely hear something official in the next 24 hours.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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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.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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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.