As MLB and NPB work toward a new agreement on how Japanese players will be made available for negotiations with U.S. clubs, a report is out which suggests a new possible framework: maximum bids.
That comes from Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that MLB’s proposal to Japanese officials calls for a maximum amount for bids on players exposed to the posting system. While a report earlier in the day suggested that, if more than one team makes a max bid, the team with the worst record gets the right to negotiate with the player, Brown denies this. Rather, all teams who bid the max would be allowed to negotiate.
Like Brown says, though, this is just a proposal. Ultimately, NPB is looking for a way to extract top dollar for negotiation rights while MLB is looking for a way to cap the bids and, if possible, benefit teams with worse records and/or lower revenues. Obviously something will have to give before an agreement is reached.
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.