During an MLB Network Radio interview today Blue Jays manager John Farrell was asked about reports that the Red Sox are interested in hiring him away from Toronto to replace Bobby Valentine as their manager.
Here’s his reply, via Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe:
I am the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s where I’ve been the last two years and that’s where I currently am. This speculation started to rear its head again probably the final two months of the season. I can tell you this: In my conversations with [Blue Jays general manager] Alex [Anthopoulos], it hasn’t distracted me from my job and what the commitment there is.
I’m extremely challenged, happy as the manager of the Blue Jays. But its obvious that there’s a vacancy to fill there and they’re going about their interview process as it is. Nothing has been communicated directly to me. If the Red Sox have contracted Alex, I’m unaware of that. Where it stands is what I said: [I’m] manager of the Blue Jays.
Not exactly an “I’m not interested in the Red Sox job” or even a “there’s nothing to those reports.” Farrell’s comments seem to say quite a lot without saying much of anything.
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.