UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com suggests that the Orioles could be a surprise fit. While the two sides have talked in recent days, he acknowledges that this is more of a guess on his part. Long live the mystery team.
8:35 PM: Coco Crisp’s agent, Steve Comte, told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle today that his client has made up his mind on where he’ll sign.
“Covelli has made up his mind,” said Comte, using Crisp’s given name. “Basically, we just have to let that team know.”
The Athletics are interested in re-signing Crisp, but Compte told Slusser than he has discussed his client with 13-14 teams this offseason. The Cubs and Dodgers have also been linked to the free agent center fielder in recent weeks.
Crisp, who turned 32 in November, batted .264/314/.379 with eight home runs, 54 RBI and a .693 OPS over 583 plate appearances in 2011. He tied Brett Gardner for the American League lead with 49 stolen bases.
After a report yesterday linked free agent outfielder Cody Ross to the A’s, Slusser hears that the club has also spoken with Ryan Ludwick and Conor Jackson.
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.