Omar Vizquel retired as a player after 24 seasons in the majors, but he’s not taking any time off from working in baseball.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels have hired Vizquel as their new roving infield instructor, which is a job that was previously held by Dick Schofield. He’ll be part of spring training and then spend the season coaching prospects at every minor league affiliate.
Vizquel has said that his goal is to be a big-league manager and his first coaching gig comes via his former Indians teammate Jerry Dipoto, who’s now the Angels’ general manager. Another former Indians teammate, Paul Sorrento, is the Angels’ roving hitting instructor and put in a good word for Vizquel to get the gig.
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.