Rick Peterson joins Brewers as pitching coach

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Injuries, poor performances, and free-agent losses led to Milwaukee’s rotation ranking dead last in baseball with a 5.37 ERA this season, and the Brewers have hired former A’s and Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson to fix things.
Peterson built up a very strong reputation while working with “The Big Three” of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder in Oakland from 1998-2003, but struggled after taking the same job with New York, reportedly played a big part in the disastrous Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano trade, and was fired in mid-2008.
Peterson worked under Ken Macha in Oakland and Willie Randolph in New York, and that pair is now the manager-bench coach combo in Milwaukee. They obviously thought highly of his work and Peterson explained that “our philosophies are aligned” after making his two-year contract official at a press conference this afternoon.
There’s clearly a lot of work to do with a pitching staff that allowed the second-most runs in the league, but Peterson at least begins his tenure with a dependable veteran closer in Trevor Hoffman and a young top-of-the-rotation starter in Yovani Gallardo. His biggest test may be trying to turn Manny Parra’s career around, assuming of course that the Brewers don’t trade the 26-year-old left-hander.

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.