Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has the scoop:
According to multiple baseball sources, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell met with free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton at the winter meetings Wednesday.
Bradford probably has that timeline wrong, as Hamilton tweeted a picture from the Nashville airport on Tuesday night with accompanying text that read “heading home.”
So we’ll just go ahead and assume the meeting happened sometime Tuesday.
Hamilton has also been in touch recently with the Mariners, Orioles, Phillies and Brewers. The Rangers are keeping tabs on the negotiations but are currently focused on free agent right-hander Zack Greinke.
Hamilton, 31, batted .285/.354/.577 with 43 home runs and 128 RBI this past season for Texas.
UPDATE, 7:55 PM: MLB Network’s Peter Gammons says the meeting happened off-site on Monday.
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.