Per MLB’s Twitter: the Ricky Nolasco deal is official. The Marlins have traded their right-handed starter to the Dodgers for prospects Steve Ames, Josh Wall, and and Angel Sanchez. None of the three made Baseball America’s top-ten list for the Dodgers organization entering the season. The Dodgers are assuming the rest of Nolasco’s remaining salary, about $5.7 million, for the 2013 season. Scott Miller of CBS Sports also reports that the Dodgers get $197,000 in international cap space with slot 96.
The acquisition of Nolasco puts the Dodgers in a good position to make a run at the NL West title. The Diamondbacks, at 45-41, lead the division and even the last place Giants at 39-46 are only 5.5 games behind, so it’s quite an open field. Over the next three and a half weeks, the Dodgers could still consider making more moves. They have been linked to Chase Utley of the Phillies and they could now go after an outfielder after Matt Kemp hurt his shoulder last night.
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.