UPDATE: The deal is official.
Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN reports that Burton will earn $2 million next season and $3.25 million in 2014. The new deal includes a $3.6 million club option for 2015 that can be bought out for $200,000.
4:38 PM: As if the Twins haven’t been busy enough today, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that they’re close to signing reliever Jared Burton to a contract extension.
Burton signed with the Twins on a minor-league deal last offseason following several injury wrecked years with the Reds and was fantastic in a setup role, throwing 62 innings with a 2.18 ERA and 55/16 K/BB ratio.
He was arbitration eligible for the final time in 2013, but according to Wolfson the extension would cover 2013 and 2014 while giving the Twins an option for 2015.
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.