Two months ago Cal Ripken Jr. dropped some hints about wanting to get into managing and now it sounds like the Hall of Famer is into chasing a big-league gig this offseason.
Appearing on WGN Radio in Chicago with David Kaplan yesterday, Ripken said:
The urge to do something in baseball has come back, and I guess I’d be more inclined to listen because I’d be a little bit more interested at this stage, but I haven’t figured that out yet. I have to be very careful how I answer that question because it seems like speculation runs rampant, but it’s an interesting position to be in. But yeah, I think I’d listen a little bit more than I would have certainly three or four years ago.
Ripken’s name alone will cause a lot of media members and fans to want him for their local job opening–for instance here’s a Cubs version–but being a great player doesn’t necessarily lead to being a great manager and in fact more often than not the opposite is true. Plus, in this case Ripken has zero coaching experience, let alone managing experience. Still, it’s certainly an interesting story to track.
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.