UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post says it’s a done deal: One year, $16 million with some bonuses for innings pitched.
Yesterday general manager Brian Cashman seemed optimistic about Hiroki Kuroda ultimately deciding to return to the Yankees and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides are close to a one-year deal.
It sounds like things will play out almost exactly like last offseason, when Kuroda turned down the Yankees’ qualifying offer for $14.1 million and later re-signed for $15 million. Heyman speculates that he’ll likely get around $16 million this time.
Being able to re-sign a pitcher as good as Kuroda on a pair of one-year deals is a coup for the Yankees, as he’s consistently been a top-of-the-rotation starter and, even at age 39, is coming off a season in which he threw 201 innings with a 3.38 ERA.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.