According to the Associated Press, police in the Dominican Republic said today that they have arrested three men suspected in the killing of former major league pitcher Pascual Perez during a home robbery on Thursday. Two other suspects are still at large.
One of the men who was arrested actually knew Perez and confessed that he and four others were planning to steal his $2,400 monthly pension. Police identified a second man as a low-level drug dealer while the third man was arrested after allegedly selling one of Perez’s cell phones for $6.25. The three men are expected to be formally charged later today while the other two suspects have been identified.
Perez pitched in the major leagues from 1980-1991, compiling a 67-68 record with a 3.44 ERA and 822 strikeouts in 1244 1/3 innings while making stops with the Pirates, Braves, Expos and Yankees.
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.