Theo Epstein doesn’t want it. Maybe Dan Duquette will.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers, the Cubs are willing to pay the “bulk” of the $54 milion that Alfonso Soriano is owed over the next three years in order to send him to Baltimore. It’d be the same journey once taken by another well-compensated Cubs outfielder: Sammy Sosa was traded to Baltimore in Feb. 2005 for Jerry Hairston Jr. and Mike Fontenot, with the Cubs kicking in part of the $17 million he was owed.
Soriano hit .244/.289/.469 with 26 homers and 88 RBI in 475 at-bats for the Cubs last season. He was better in 2010 but worse in 2009, and he hasn’t played in more than 147 games in any of his five years with the Cubs. It’s hard to imagine the Orioles would take him on as anything more than a $4 million-$5 million per year player, but even if the Cubs have to pay $35 million-$40 million of Soriano’s remaining salary, it could well be worth it just for the chance to move on.
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.