Angels calling up hot-hitting speedster Peter Bourjos

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According to various sources the Angels are planning to call up 23-year-old outfielder Peter Bourjos from Triple-A prior to tomorrow’s game. Bourjos ranked among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects coming into the season and has hit .314/.364/.498 at Triple-A.
One of the fastest players in the minors, he has 27 steals and 12 triples in 102 games and is also considered an elite defensive center fielder. Torii Hunter’s presence likely means he won’t be seeing much time in center field for the Angels–at least not this season–but manager Mike Scioscia may use Bourjos in place of Juan Rivera in left field.
Back when fellow speedster Chone Figgins was a prospect the Angels initially used him as merely a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, but Scioscia hinted that they likely wouldn’t call Bourjos up to serve in such a limited role, saying: “Every young player needs to play.”
Bourjos doesn’t walk much for someone who could be destined for the leadoff spot and how much power he’ll develop remains in question, but he just set the Pacific Coast League record with 52 hits in July and would be a massive upgrade over Rivera defensively. Plus, it’s not like Rivera has been any good at the plate anyway, hitting just .257/.309/.427 in 89 games.

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)
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)
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.