Just call him Chone Phiggins

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figgins getty.jpgSI.com’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Phillies are “seriously considering” free agent Chone Figgins.
The 31-year-old speedster doesn’t figure to lack for options in free agency, particularly because he can play third base, center field and perhaps second. Figgins to the White Sox has been a popular rumor through the years, but GM Ken Williams has already shot down that possibility, saying the money won’t be there.
The Cubs and Yankees, both of whom could pursue center fielders, have also been spoken of as fits for Figgins. The Giants could use the quality leadoff man, but they’d either have to use him in left field or push Pablo Sandoval to first to make room for him. The Red Sox, Mets and Mariners would seem to be less likely suitors.
Philadelphia may end up as the Angels’ primary competition to keep the 2009 AL walks leader. Figgins is likely to seek a four-year deal worth somewhere around $12 million-$13 million per year. If the Phillies signed him, he should replace Jimmy Rollins as the team’s leadoff hitter. Shane Victorino could keep batting second, while Rollins takes his mediocre OBP to the seventh spot in the order behind Raul Ibanez.

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.