Shawn Chacon is … The Fugitive

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Las Vegas police have issued an arrest warrant for former Rockies, Yankees, Pirates, and Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon after he allegedly failed to pay $150,000 in gambling debts to Caesars Palace.
Chacon was let go by the Astros in the middle of last season after having a physical altercation with Ed Wade, reportedly grabbing the 53-year-old general manager by the neck and throwing him to the ground. Seriously.
Since then he’s pitched in an independent league before latching on with the A’s affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, posting a 6.29 ERA in 14 starts at Triple-A. In other words things haven’t been going so well for Chacon lately.
He looks finished as a big leaguer at the age of 31 after going 45-61 with a 4.99 ERA in 922 career innings. He also earned more than $15 million during his eight seasons in the majors, which seemingly either means that Chacon is just being stubborn about paying his gambling debts or he’s blown through all that money. I’d bet on the latter, though probably not for $150,000.

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)
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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.