Landon Powell spent parts of the past three seasons with the A’s and avoided arbitration in December with a one-year, $620,000 contract, but this morning Oakland released the 30-year-old catcher.
Powell hasn’t hit in the majors, batting just .207 with a .612 OPS in 123 games, and the 2004 first-round pick hasn’t even been particularly good in various stints at Triple-A. Because his contract was non-guaranteed the A’s will owe Powell one-sixth of his salary, which slightly more than $100,000.
He was outrighted off the 40-man roster in January and accepted an assignment to the minors after going unclaimed on waivers, so at this point Powell will likely have to settle for a minor-league deal elsewhere.
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.