A few years ago I wrote a post about Giants bench coach Ron Wotus getting suspended for a game for whatever it was bench coaches can get suspended for. At the time I said that it would probably be the last time I ever used Ron Wotus’ picture on HardballTalk.
Shows you what I know: Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners have interviewed Wotus for their managerial opening.
Ain’t gonna lie: I don’t know much about Wotus apart from that suspension and the fact that, generally speaking, you don’t hear much about the Giants having big on-field tactical blunders that a good bench coach would prevent. So I assume that and his long tenure with Bruce Bochy makes him a good guy who is good at his job.
The job he’s interviewing for? Eh, not exactly drawing star power. So far the Mariners have been linked with Padres bench coach Rick Renteria and Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, each of whom are interviewing for higher-profile jobs in Chicago and Detroit, respectively. But good luck to Wotus all the same.
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.