Eric Wedge has informed the Mariners that he will not return to manage the team in 2014, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. On Wednesday, Wedge had expressed frustration that the Mariners had been taking so long to inform him of his job status, saying, “I feel like I’m hanging out there.”
In his three years as skipper in Seattle, the Mariners have had three losing seasons, entering tonight’s action with a 212-271 record (.439) since the start of the 2011 season.
There is some concern about the team’s direction since general manager Jack Zduriencik is only on contract for one more year. Rosenthal says that the Mariners are open to “revisit” Zduriencik’s status once he hires a new manager.
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.