More from Joel Sherman, who notes that while the Yankees have more immediate concerns, their biggest overall decision involves a long term deal for Robinson Cano. Sherman says:
I reported last month Cano was telling teammates he is expecting a 10-year contract at the top of the market. Now, a confidant of Cano informs me the second baseman thinks he has taken a discount once to sign long term with the Yankees and will not do so again.
It’s hard to imagine anyone in baseball is going to give a ten year deal to a guy who will be 31 years-old when it comes up. Especially a team that is currently suffering because of a ten year deal given to a guy in Alex Rodriguez who was 32 years-old when he got his ten year deal.
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.