Jason Giambi was nearly the Rockies manager and turned down a chance to be their hitting coach. One of the reasons he’s not a coach right now? Dude still wants to play:
Giambi hit .225/.372/.303 with one homer in 113 plate appearances in 2012. The mojo for Giambi lasted longer than a lot of folks probably thought it would — not many former superstars continue on as role players after their elite skills have faded into average ones — but it seems like it’s over. I could see him getting some spring training at bats anywhere, but he had the last job one can have on a major league team — pinch hitter — and there’s really nowhere else to go from there, is there?
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.