Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners

Rangers “still talking” to free agent Adrian Beltre

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A report on a Dominican Republic-based website this morning had the Rangers and Adrian Beltre agreeing to a six-year, $96 million contract.  That was later found to be incorrect by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, but the Rangers are indeed talking to the free agent third baseman, according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, and seem to be one of the few teams with legitimate interest in meeting his lofty price tag.

It’s a decent fit if the Rangers can find a taker for 34-year-old third baseman Michael Young.  Beltre proved last year in Boston that he has the ability produce gaudy power numbers when hitting in a small park and he would provide a major defensive upgrade at third base.

The Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington saw the seventh-most homers in baseball last season and the sixth-most total runs.  Fenway Park, for reference, hosted the seventh-most total runs.

Texas should have some expendable cash remaining from their failed pursuit of left-hander Cliff Lee and it appears that their only competition to land Beltre comes from the Angels.

Beltre, 31, is thought to be seeking a five-year contract worth about $85 million.

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.

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”