UPDATE: Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that Ross got a three-year, $26 million contract. The deal includes a club option for 2016 which carries a $1 million buyout. Not a bad deal for someone who made $3 million in 2012.
12:01 PM: According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Cody Ross has reached agreement with the Diamondbacks on a three-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved.
This is a pretty surprising destination for Ross, as he hasn’t been linked to the Diamondbacks at all this winter. The latest we heard was a meeting with the Rangers earlier this week.
The Diamondbacks already have Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton in-house, so the addition of Ross is a bit superfluous on the surface. However, general manager Kevin Towers now figures to step up his efforts to trade an outfielder, likely Kubel. And I suppose it’s possible Upton could be dealt if they are blown away by an offer.
Ross, who turns 32 tomorrow, batted .267/.326/.481 with 22 home runs, 81 RBI and an .807 OPS in 130 games this past season with the Red Sox. He enjoyed most of his success at Fenway Park, but he should have a decent chance at a comparable follow-up playing half of his games at the hitter-friendly Chase Field.
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.