The Reds will go in-house to replace Dusty Baker, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that pitching coach Bryan Price is expected to be named as manager tomorrow. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer are hearing the same.
While there were rumblings about Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, and Cubs third base coach David Bell being candidates for the job, Price was always considered the favorite. Regarded as one of the best pitching coaches in the game, he has been with the Reds since 2010 and previously held the same position with the Mariners (2000-2005) and Diamondbacks (2006-2009). Rosenthal reports that Price was also a candidate for the Mariners’ managerial vacancy.
The Reds could be in for big changes this winter with Shin-Soo Choo and Bronson Arroyo hitting free agency and Brandon Phillips reportedly on the trading block, but Price will inherit a very talented team for his first managerial gig.
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.