Braves catcher Brian McCann is set to hit the free agent market after the 2013 MLB season. But he is recovering from shoulder surgery and coming off a career-worst year, so contract talks are on hold.
Braves GM Frank Wren told Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on Sunday that he spoke recently with McCann’s agent and that both sides agreed to shelve any extension discussions until next fall.
McCann, a .279/.351/.475 career hitter, batted just .230/.300/.399 in 487 plate appearances this past summer for Atlanta. If the 28-year-old backstop can find a way to rebound in 2013, he should do quite well for himself.
Yadier Molina’s five-year, $75 million pact with the Cardinals could serve as a kind of framework.
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.