From Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The Cardinals tonight will announce their intention to honor the future Hall of Fame manager by retiring his No. 10 prior to a May 11 game against the Atlanta Braves. La Russa, now serving for Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, has accepted the club’s invitation to attend what is believed to be an elaborate ceremony remember TLR’s 16-year term with the franchise.
La Russa had a franchise-best 1,408 wins as the Cardinals’ skipper, leading the club to nine postseason appearances and two World Series titles. He’s also the third-winningest manager in baseball history.
The Cardinals now feature 12 different retired numbers: 1 (Ozzie Smith), 2 (Red Schoendienst), 6 (Stan Musial), 9 (Enos Slaughther), 10 (La Russa), 14 (Ken Boyer), 17 (Dizzy Dean), 20 (Lou Brock), 24 (Whitey Herzog), 42 (Bruce Sutter and Jackie Robinson), 45 (Bob Gibson) and 85 (former owner August Busch).
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.