Jeff Passan has something that makes no sense to me:
The presumed reason why Prince Fielder and Doug Fister were traded was so the Tigers could afford extensions for Max Scherzer. At the very least the Fister trade was based on the assumption that the Tigers’ pitching staff was strong enough to weather his absence. Because, hey, you got Mac Scherzer there.
Not that trading Scherzer while he’s at his most valuable is a bad move in a vacuum. He’s unlikely to ever be as good as he was in 2013 again and he is going to get expensive.
But if you’re thinking of trading him, why lose Fister first? That just seems nutty to me.
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.