Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are close to re-signing rehabbing right-hander Daniel Hudson and backup catcher Henry Blanco.
Hudson is expected to miss most of 2014 following a pair of Tommy John elbow surgeries and the Diamondbacks non-tendered him last week because they ran out of time to work out a deal before the arbitration-offering deadline. According to Piecoro the main sticking point was that Hudson wants a guaranteed spot on the 40-man roster while he rehabs.
Blanco was Arizona’s backup catcher for 2011 and 2012, playing sparingly behind starter Miguel Montero before spending this year in Seattle and Toronto. At age 42 he’s near the end of the line, but Pieroco reports that he’ll cost only a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
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.