Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the scoop:
The Mets clandestinely met with free-agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta, according to league sources.
No Mets person would admit there was a meeting with Peralta, but sources on other teams said he did meet with them.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post was told by a Mets executive Wednesday night that Peralta just happened to be in the same town as this week’s GM meetings — Orlando, Florida — and that the Mets’ plan is to meet face-to-face with all of the players they’re interested in acquiring this offseason. That executive said “not to put big stock” in this one specific meeting.
The Mets aren’t satisfied with the production of current shortstop Ruben Tejada, who hit .202/.259/.260 with zero home runs and 10 RBI in 227 plate appearances this year. The 24-year-old could be moved to second base or relegated to a bench role if the Mets are able to make some infield upgrades this winter.
Peralta, 31, batted .303/.358/.457 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI across 448 plate appearances this summer for Detroit. He was hit with a 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension in early August.
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.