Yesterday it was said that five teams were on Carlos Beltan’s short list. Four were named. Which means … Mystery Team.
Sadly, Buster Olney put his Jessica Fletcher pearls on and solved that mystery: the Cleveland Indians. Ken Rosenthal confirms and argues that Beltran may be a good fit in Cleveland.
Not sure I’m buying it. The Indians don’t have a ton of room — at least on paper — in the outfield with Choo, Sizemore and Brantley, who while not as good as Beltran, obviously, is someone the Indians believe in. Travis Hafner is the DH. You can guess that both Hafner and Sizemore will miss copious amounts of playing time with injuries, but if you’re Beltran, why do you go someplace where there is even the possibility that your presence is gonna upset some current players?
A bigger issue is the money. Rosenthal argues that, while Beltran is pricey for the Indians, the team could work him into the budget. He’s right, I think, but it seems tight. If there really are five teams bidding, it wouldn’t be hard to see the $10-12 million Beltan apparently wants to creep up a bit. And every notch higher is a little larger for the Indians than it is for, say, the Red Sox or the Cardinals.
Anything can happen. We’re told Beltran will sign this week. So I guess we just watch.
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.