UPDATE: Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that Callaspo’s two-year deal is worth $8.975 million.
10:45 PM: According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, the Angels and Alberto Callaspo are close to finalizing a two-year extension worth around $9 million. The two sides are still expected to exchange arbitration figures tomorrow, but that’s merely a formality until Callaspo travels from Venezuela to take a physical.
Callaspo was arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter after making a $3.15 million salary in 2012. The agreement, if finalized, will buy out his first year of free agency.
Callaspo, 29, batted .252/.331/.361 with 10 home runs, 53 RBI and a .692 OPS last season. The Angels are hoping he’ll hold down third base until top prospect Kaleb Cowart is ready for the big leagues.
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.