Well, this is going to make the Cubs sad.
Joe Girardi will return as Yankees manager, signing a four-year contract extension rather than hitting the open market as a free agent in a few weeks.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Girardi will get $16 million over four years, so the Cubs’ oft-reported interest helped boost the price tag from his current $3 million salary. Now he’s in New York through 2017, choosing to stay with a Yankees team in a state of flux rather than trying to embark on a full-scale rebuild with the Cubs or perhaps join a ready-made contender with the Nationals.
Girardi has a 564-408 (.580) record in six seasons with the Yankees, including 85-77 with an injury wrecked roster this season. He’s won three AL East titles and one World Series during that time, and general manager Brian Cashman has always made it very clear that he wanted Girardi back.
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.