With Rafael Soriano off the table the list of established relievers is getting shorter. And apparently several teams feel that ending up with Kyle Farnsworth is better than ending up with nothing:
Rosenthal doesn’t say which three teams those are, but he notes that among the teams in search of back of the bullpen help are the Rays, Tigers, Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins and Mets.
Farnsworth spent the past two seasons with the Rays and he did two tours of duty with the Tigers. You’d figure if the Rays wanted to keep him they would have done something about it by now. Otherwise, teams are left to decide whether a soon-to-be 37 year-old guy whose walk rate spiked alarmingly last season and who has alternated good and bad years over the past four seasons is worth a gamble.
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.