Indians get Talbot as PTBNL in Shoppach trade

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Three weeks ago the Rays acquired Kelly Shoppach from the Indians for a player to be named later and this afternoon Mitch Talbot was announced as the mystery man heading to Cleveland.
Talbot and Ben Zobrist were the Astros prospects who went to the then-Devil Rays in the mid-2006 trade for Aubrey Huff. Zobrist has since emerged as one of the AL’s best players, putting together an MVP-caliber 2009 campaign, but Talbot has yet to stick in the majors and missed much of the season with elbow problems.
He pitched well when healthy, posting a 3.89 ERA and 67/18 K/BB ratio in 68.1 innings at Triple-A, and because he’s out of minor-league options the Indians seemingly acquired him with an eye toward giving him a big-league job in 2010. Talbot’s upside is limited because he doesn’t have great raw stuff and is already 26 years old, but he throws strikes, misses a fair number of bats, and potentially could be a back-of-the-rotation starter if healthy.

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.