This one went down right at the midnight deadline. Or maybe even after. But we’re not ones to tattle.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the Red Sox have sent right-handed relief prospect Jason Rice to the A’s for outfield-first baseman Conor Jackson.
Jackson, 29, has batted just .249/.315/.342 with four home runs and 38 RBI in 368 plate appearances this season for Oakland. He doesn’t play great defense, but he has experience in right field, left field, and at first base and third. The Red Sox are expected to use him as a super utilityman down the stretch.
Rice, a 25-year-old former 11th-round draft pick, has posted a 3.69 ERA and 89/42 K/BB ratio in 85 1/3 innings this year at the Triple-A level. He doesn’t have great control, but his fastball velocity is strong and he has the potential to become a decent middle reliever if he can develop a secondary pitch.
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.