David DeJesus has agreed to a two-year contract with the Cubs and is expected to be Chicago’s starting right fielder, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the deal is worth $10 million and includes a team option for 2014, when DeJesus will be 34 years old.
DeJesus is coming off a career-worst season in Oakland, hitting just .240 with his first sub-.700 OPS, but prior to being traded to the A’s he was consistently a very good on-base threat and plus defensive outfielder during seven seasons for the Royals.
He lacks ideal power for a corner outfielder, but DeJesus has a .354 career on-base percentage, including an OBP above .345 every season from 2004 to 2010, and he’s capable of hitting 10-15 homers. He’s hardly a headline-grabbing pickup, but DeJesus has long been an underrated all-around player who’ll fit atop the Cubs’ lineup and the price is certainly right.
Oakland offered DeJesus arbitration, so the A’s will receive a supplemental first-round pick as compensation.
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.