Closer Brian Wilson, formerly of the San Francisco Giants, could return according to manager Bruce Bochy. ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweeted:
Bochy told us the Giants have not closed the door on Brian Wilson
Wilson managed only two innings last season before his season ended, requiring Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Though the Giants went on to win the World Series without him, Wilson was instrumental in the Giants’ championship 2010 season, posting a 1.81 ERA with a league-best 48 saves. He did not allow a single run in 11.2 innings during post-season play.
In Wilson’s absence last year, the Giants got 25 saves out of Santiago Casilla and 14 out of Sergio Romo. Casilla was relied upon in the ninth through July, but the Giants relied more and more on Romo as the season rolled into August. He was the go-to guy in the post-season and will be the closer for the 2013 season. If the Giants were to bring Wilson back, he would likely satisfy a middle relief role.
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.