Jim Edmonds-for-Chris Dickerson swap smart all-around

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It’s almost a challenge trade: division rivals swap left-handed-hitting center fielders.
But there isn’t much downside for either Reds GM Walt Jocketty or Brewers GM Doug Melvin here. The Brewers have fallen completely out of the race in the NL Central, and Jim Edmonds has indicated that he’s probably going to retire after the season. Now he’ll get a chance to go out with a winner, and the Brewers can take a look at Chris Dickerson to see if he should fit into their 2011 plans.
Edmonds will definitely be a useful part for the Reds. What remains to be seen is how exactly he’ll fit. He’s not a regular center fielder these days anyway, and he has a sore Achilles’ tendon causing him pain with every step.
What he also has is an OPS 60 points higher than that of any of the Reds’ regular outfielders. He’s at 843 at the moment, compared to 780 for Jonny Gomes, 737 for Jay Bruce and 705 for Drew Stubbs. The guess is that the Reds will keep their current reserve outfielders, Chris Heisey and Laynce Nix. So, the team could demote either Bruce or Stubbs and give Edmonds a major role or it could have him replace Juan Francisco and give Dusty Baker headaches trying to find at-bats for everyone.
I’m guessing that Stubbs gets sent down until Sept. 1, with Edmonds and Heisey sharing time in center.
The Brewers will probably give Dickerson about three starts per week while also looking at Lorenzo Cain in center. Dickerson has been on the DL since the end of April after suffering a broken hamate bone, but he’s hit .442/.528/.767 with three homers and six steals over 13 games in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Louisville.
While he’s yet to really establish himself in the majors, the 28-year-old Dickerson did hit .274/.367/.421 in 401 at-bats for the Reds over the last three years. He’s an average defender in center, a plus defender in the corners and he’ll make the minimum in 2011. His track record makes him look like a perfect fourth outfielder. However, he also has a history of inconsistency and injuries. He’s a nice pickup regardless, but the injuries may prevent him from ever fulfilling his potential.

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.