Rafael Soriano had a 2.26 ERA in 67 2/3 innings last year for the Yankees while converting 42 saves in 46 opportunities. But he has struggled to attract offers on the open market this offseason because of the draft pick (and draft pool money) that a team would have to forfeit in order to ink a deal with him.
Some have suggested that he should simply return to the Yankees on a one-year contract and try again to hit it big in free agency next winter. But the New York front office apparently wants no part of that.
Anthony Rieber of Newsday brings the goods:
Closer Rafael Soriano still is a free agent, but a return to the Yankees seems unlikely. Soriano opted out of the final year of his Yankees deal after saving 42 games in place of the injured Mariano Rivera.
“I cannot talk about players on the free-agent market,” [Yankees general manager] Brian Cashman said. “But I am not looking for bullpen help, I can tell you that.”
Soriano would have made $14 million in 2013 had he not exercised that opt-out clause. He also declined a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees back in November. His agent is Scott Boras.
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.