This is sorta like those reports of team planes flying to the hometowns of free agents in December and those are often full of it, but for what it’s worth, George King of the New York Post reports:
Derek Jeter’s equipment from Tampa has made it to The Bronx, likely meaning the Yankees captain won’t be far behind.
Jeter’s equipment coming to New York, as opposed to Scranton where the shortstop will continue his Triple-A rehab tonight, is a very strong indication he will be in pinstripes this weekend for the Yankees final games before the All-Star break against the Twins.
Joe Girardi said yesterday that he’d like to see Jeter play back-to-back games in the field before coming to New York. He had last night off but is scheduled to start at shortstop tonight. If he does the same thing tomorrow you have to figure he’s in New York this weekend.
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.