Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Toronto’s new hitting coach is Kevin Seitzer, who replaces Chad Mottola after the Blue Jays ranked eighth among AL teams in scoring this season.
Seizter was previously the Royals’ hitting coach from 2009-2012, during which time Kansas City ranked 12th, 6th, 10th, and 13th among AL teams in scoring. He was fired in October of last year, with the lack of development for Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas cited as key reasons.
Dutton notes that Seitzer and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons worked together on Kansas City’s coaching staff from 2009-2011.
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.