Released by the Dodgers last month after biting Triple-A teammate Alex Guerrero’s ear off, veteran catcher Miguel Olivo has found a new team. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 35-year-old journeyman/maniac has signed with the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League.
Olivo was hitting .368 with a 1.013 OPS at Triple-A for the Dodgers when they released him and, if not for BITING A TEAMMATE’S EAR OFF, he probably would have been called up to the majors at some point already.
Now it’s pretty safe to assume that Olivo’s big-league career is over, because in addition to using his teeth to tear parts of people’s body off he hasn’t cracked a .225 batting average or .700 OPS since 2010.
Meanwhile, five weeks after having part of his ear bitten off Guerrero is finally ready to resume baseball activities and begin his comeback. So, to recap: Olivo will be playing baseball professionally again before Guerrero, which doesn’t seem quite right.
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.