Bartolo Colon hasn’t been linked to many teams as a free agent, but Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Diamondbacks are “showing interest” in him as a potential fifth starter.
After a year out of the big leagues Colon signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees last offseason and made a remarkable comeback, throwing 164 innings with a 4.00 ERA and 135/40 K/BB ratio at age 38.
However, he struggled down the stretch, going 0-4 with a 5.84 ERA in his final eight starts, and prior to last year Colon hadn’t thrown even 100 innings in a season since way back in 2005.
Arizona’s front four is set with Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Daniel Hudson, and Josh Collmenter, but adding Colon to compete with and perhaps delay the arrival of the Diamondbacks’ various young fifth-starter candidates makes sense. For a cheap one-year deal he can still be useful.
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.