If these tweets from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times are any indication, it looks like the Dodgers and free agent left-hander Paul Maholm have reached agreement on a contract:
The move comes less than 24 hours after Bronson Arroyo, another Dodgers target, agreed to a two-year contract with the Diamondbacks. While Maholm isn’t a big name, he’ll be useful insurance for the starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Dan Haren are locked into the first four spots, but Josh Beckett is no sure thing after thoracic outlet surgery and Chad Billingsley likely won’t be ready to return from Tommy John surgery until May or June.
Maholm, 31, posted a 4.41 ERA and 105/47 K/BB ratio over 153 innings with the Braves last season.
UPDATE: Hernandez surmises that it will be a minor league deal. This has the makings of a potential bargain.
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.