UPDATE: Buster Olney says that a lot of teams have called the Marlins about Infante and that, at the moment, no one is really close, including Atlanta. Upshot: the Marlins may hang on to their All-Star.
8:50 AM: Hey, if you have a chance to add a former All-Star at the deadline, you take it, right? Don’t look at me like that. Omar Infante was an All-Star last year. You can look it up.
Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are talking to the Marlins about that very thing. And given that the Feesh are in Atlanta finishing up a series today, they may not even have to pay for a flight.
While the Braves are still looking to acquire an outfield bat a la B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn or Carlos Quentin, Infante could be a nice fallback option who could help the Braves get through their current outfield depth problems brought on by injuries to Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth. Most likely in taking over third base and allowing Martin Prado to move back to left field. Although it’s worth noting that Infante has played the same number of games in the outfield –101 — than he has played at third.
On the season Infante is hitting a paltry .264/.312/.328. But did I mention that he was an All-Star?
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.
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.