Chapman establishes residency in Andorra

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Quick, find Andorra on a map. Not so
easy, is it? It’s safe to say Aroldis Chapman didn’t know it where it
was either before he decided to defect from Cuba. However, the
21-year-old fireballer
has now established residency in the country, clearing a major hurdle to become a major league free agent.



Chapman walked out of his hotel in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
while Cuba was participating in a baseball tournament in July. His
location was not immediately known, but it appears that he was savvy
enough to take advantage of a major-league loophole which allows
players from third-party countries — no longer a product of the U.S.
embargo with Cuba — to enter the free-agent pool as opposed to the
draft. Because Chapman had a passport, he was able to get the wheels in
motion rather quickly. Another bonus, Andorra has no income tax, so
he’ll save a pretty penny in the end.




According to SI.com, Chapman may be
available for free agency before the playoffs begin. While there’s a wide
range of opinion about his skills, one scouting director told
SI.com that he projects more as a middle reliever than a front-end major league
starter. Either way, don’t expect the Yankees or Red Sox to shy away
from his 101 MPH fastball.

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)
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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.