A few minutes ago the Texas Rangers announced that they signed Colby Lewis to a one-year extension. It has a $2 million base salary with incentives that could make it up to $6 million. He made $3.25 million in 2012.
Sounds like a win-win, inasmuch as Lewis was facing free agency apocalypse, what with his 2012 season ending with an elbow injury back in July. Having a one-year deal with a team likely to give him a starting job next year will help him set up for another crack at the market in 2014. Meanwhile, the Rangers get a quality starter back without having to take a long-term gamble and not having to pay much more than they did this year.
Lewis was 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 105 innings in 16 starts before shutting it down.
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.