jeffress

Confirmed: Jeremy Jeffress is the player to named in the Greinke deal

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We now know the identity of the player to be named later going to the Royals. It’s exactly who we expected it to be.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel are all reporting that Jeremy Jeffress will go to the Royals to complete the trade for Zack Greinke. The deal will be officially announced later this afternoon.

Jeffress, 23, missed the beginning of the 2010 season while serving the end of a 100-game suspension for a second positive marijuana test, but posted a 2.23 ERA and 43/12 K/BB ratio over 32 1/3 innings as a reliever between Single-A Wisconsin, High-A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville. The former 2006 first-round pick made his major league debut as a September call-up, posting a 2.70 ERA and 8/6 K/BB ratio over 10 innings. With a fastball that sits in the mid-to-high 90s, some have called him a potential closer.

Now that we know Jeffress is definitely in the trade, it’s time to wonder if the Royals will soon be willing to part with Joakim Soria, as well. Soria, who turns 27 in May, is owed $4 million next season and has a series of club options from 2012-2014. It’s an affordable and flexible contract, so the Royals have no sense of urgency to deal him, but Jeffress at least gives them some insurance to begin listening.

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.