In early April, extension talks between the Giants and star third baseman Pablo Sandoval were tabled. Sandoval turned down a three-year, $40 million deal in March and is reportedly using Hunter Pence’s five-year, $90 million extension with the Giants as a baseline.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, however, Sandoval is actively seeking a nine-figure contract. It’s a bit curious considering his past issues with weight management, staying healthy, and general inconsistency. It’s even more curious considering that he has a .537 OPS with the first month of the regular season nearing its conclusion.
Heyman adds that the Giants have purportedly been willing to increase their offer to include a fourth year and a fifth-year option. It’s unclear if they also bumped up the $13.33 million annual average value of the deal they offered Sandoval in March. Regardless, the deal would fall well short of the nine figures Sandoval is supposedly seeking.
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.