Paul Sullivan, Cubs beat writer at the Chicago Tribune, has the story:
On Wednesday it was revealed Castro had $3.6 million from his bank accounts in the Dominican Republic frozen over a contract his father signed when he was 16, agreeing to give 3 percent of his major league earnings to persons involved with a baseball school in the Dominican.
Castro’s agent and attorney believe the contract will be nullified in a Dominican court when all is said and done, and Castro will get to keep his money. The Cubs have remained mum, monitoring the situation from afar.
Castro has known about this issue for over a year and his countersuit claims that it had “direct impact on his duties as a professional ballplayer, leading to one of his worst-ever statistical performances.”
Castro did indeed struggle in 2013, batting just .245/.284/.347 in 705 plate appearances.
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.