CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Chase Headley was claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team and pulled back by the Padres. As a result, he is now assured of staying with San Diego for the rest of the season.
After a breakthrough season in 2012 in which Headley finished fifth in the National League MVP balloting, he is batting just .240/.331/.368 with eight home runs and 36 RBI in 117 games this season. Heyman writes that the Padres are expected to attempt to sign the 29-year-old to a contract extension this winter, but it’s possible they could field trade offers if no progress is made. It could be an interesting dynamic, as Headley might not be willing to sign after a down year while the Padres could be selling low in a trade.
Headley is due a raise in arbitration this winter after making $8.575 million this season. He is due to hit the free agent market after 2014.
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.