The job isn’t as sexy as the openings in Washington and Detroit, but the Cubs manager job is up for grabs and today Dave Kaplan of CSNChicago.com handicaps some of the candidates with the help of an anonymous former GM who adds his thoughts.
Upshot, if you believe the GM views the world the same way Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein do: sell short on A.J. Hinch, go long on Dave Martinez or Brad Ausmus.
I feel the same way about Ausmus, for what it’s worth. Seems like this would be a great job for a guy who many feel will one day be a fantastic manager but who just needs to cut his teeth a bit.
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.