The market for free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran seems to be picking up quite a bit of recent steam.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported this afternoon that the Orioles, Yankees and Red Sox have expressed serious interest in signing Beltran and now Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald tweets that the Red Sox front office has already engaged in “serious dialogue” with the 36-year-old and his agent.
Beltran received a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals this month and declined it, so signing him requires the forfeiture of a top draft pick. But what he is capable of providing offensively can outweigh that hitch.
Beltran batted .282/.343/.493 with 56 home runs, 56 doubles, 162 runs scored and 181 RBI in his two seasons with St. Louis and he’s a .333/.445/.683 career hitter in 51 total postseason games.
The Red Sox could use him as a regular left fielder and part-time designated hitter in 2014.
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.