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Report: Royals to listen to offers for Zack Greinke

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Insider is required to read this one, but according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Royals intend to listen to “any and all offers” for Zack Greinke.

The Royals have a nice stockpile of top prospects, including third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer and left-hander John Lamb, but the franchise will probably not be in a position to contend until a couple years from now. Meanwhile, Greinke has two years and $27 million left on his current contract.

Greinke voiced his concerns to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star back in August:

“There’s no reason for me to get real excited about it,” he said, “because the chance of more than one of them making a major impact by the time my contract is up is pretty slim.”

Because the Royals have him for two more years, they really shouldn’t have a sense of urgency to deal him, but there’s an argument to be made that he could be the most coveted pitcher available this winter. Let’s be honest, only a couple of teams will even be able to enter the bidding for Cliff Lee, so the remainder of Greinke’s contract looks like a pretty decent bargain by comparison.

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.