While Joe Mauer’s soiree on the waiver wire made big headlines, the fact that Felix Hernandez was out there too was unknown until Friday, when FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi reported that both Hernandez and Jason Vargas have been claimed on waivers.
Kevin Millwood cleared waivers and is thus eligible to be traded. However, he’d have to be moved today in order to be postseason eligible for another team.
Morosi reports that neither Hernandez nor Vargas will be traded to the teams that claimed them. That was a given with Hernandez, but perhaps a deal could have been worked out with Vargas.
Hernandez has won his last nine decisions to move to the forefront of the AL Cy Young race. He’s 13-5 with a league-best 2.43 ERA.
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.