Matthew posted about Rick Porcello’s excellent outing yesterday and about how scouts from several teams took it on the assumption that Porcello is trade bait. One team at least is doing more than watching:
The Texas Rangers, still trying to determine a No. 5 starter for their rotation, inquired Monday about Detroit Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, a source told ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin.
With Martin Perez breaking his arm over the weekend and uncertainty on the back end of their rotation, the Rangers could use a guy like Porcello. And Porcello, one figures, could use a better set of infielders behind him in order to take advantage of his sinking stuff. For their part the Tigers could use relief help.
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.