Another big arbitration case has been settled.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Padres and third baseman Chase Headley avoided a salary arbitration hearing on Wednesday evening by agreeing to a one-year, $8.575 million contract.
Headley requested $10.3 million and was offered $7.075 million by the San Diego front office when figures were exchanged earlier this month. It didn’t take long for the sides to find a middle ground.
Headley, 28, batted .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs and 115 RBI in 161 games last season for the Friars. He will be eligible for salary arbitration again in 2014 before hitting free agency heading into 2015.
The Padres will likely attempt to work out a long-term extension with Headley at some point this year.
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.