Link-O-Rama: Ken Williams' expensive day

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* Yesterday was an expensive one for White Sox general manager Ken Williams. Not only did he drop $60 million on Alex Rios, he also got a $56 jaywalking ticket for illegally crossing a street in front of Safeco Field in Seattle.
* After appearing in four games as a reliever since his call-up last month, 21-year-old Rockies prospect Jhoulys Chacin will make his first big-league start tonight against the Pirates.
* Bill Ladson of MLB.com confirmed that Cristian Guzman has cleared waivers, but also reports that “the Nationals have no intentions of trading Guzman.” Apparently the Red Sox will have to look elsewhere for shortstop help.
* Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that Rich Aurilia will be let go by the Giants after having a conversation with bench coach Ron Wotus that “ended with the two men hugging.” Aurilia is hitting just .222 with a .565 OPS in 119 plate appearances, but ranks 15th in Giants history with 1,281 games played.
* Scott Spiezio has signed with the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League, where the 37-year-old former World Series hero joins Robert Fick, Damian Jackson, and Ben Johnson in playing for manager Phil Nevin.
* Splash News has photos of Alex Rodriguez’s girlfriend, Kate Hudson, hanging out with the Yankees’ wives. The blurb attached to the pictures amused me, because it was clearly written by someone who’s never watched a baseball game: “Maybe Kate is his A-Rod’s luck charm? He’s averaging more points now than his season average.” Heh.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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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.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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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.