Diamondbacks get lucky: Reynolds misses arbitration cutoff

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As we noted back in July, it was sure to go right down to the wire. As it turned out, Mark Reynolds’ two years and 138 days of service time wasn’t quite enough to make him a “super-two” arbitration eligible player. This year’s cutoff was two years, 141 days.
Under the rules of MLB, players with between three and six years of service time, as well as the top one-sixth of players with between two and three years, qualify for arbitration after every season. Those top one-sixth are known as “super-two” players, and that one rule is why we’ve seen teams so cautious about promoting prospects in April and early May during recent years.
Reynolds was called up from the majors on May 16, 2007, never to be sent down. Had the Diamondbacks chosen to promote him on May 13 instead, he’d likely be in line to earn at least $5 million next year. As is, Arizona could pay him as little as $500,000 or maybe up to $800,000 or so if the team is feeling generous.
Tim Lincecum, on the other hand, was called up on May 6, 2007, never to be sent down. Those extra seven days spent on the roster of a team that ended up finishing in last place will cost the Giants dearly. Lincecum figures to ask for something in the neighborhood of the $10 million Ryan Howard requested and received as a super-two player after 2007. Not only are the Giants going to spend $9 million more than they needed to on Lincecum next year, but that huge increase will continue to be reflected in future arbitration years and keep costing them down the road.
So, yeah, the Giants made a huge mistake. The Diamondbacks, though, weren’t nearly as sure what they had in Reynolds when a Chad Tracy injury led to his callup. They caught a big break in that they won’t have to pay for Reynolds’ ample production for another year. The $5 million that they might have spent on him can now go towards improving the rotation or the bullpen or for an upgrade at second base.

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.