Chris Tillman

Chris Tillman is in the Best Shape of His Life

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BSOHL stories are usually reserved for veterans looking to rebound from a decline.  But even a 23 year-old can be in the BSOHL. Just ask Orioles’ pitcher Chris Tillman:

“I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, at least stronger,” he said. “All the running has definitely helped. I truly believe I’m better than I’ve ever been. I went to API last year, but that was more about injury prevention. This year, I’m going after it. No more tryout stuff. I’ve got to get after it. I’m train pretty hard out there.”

I worry about these younger guys being in the BSOHL. They’re way more media-aware than the older guys. They get memes quicker and stuff.  Soon — like, at any time now — some young player is going to ironically offer that he is in the BSOHL, and once that happens I feel like all of the fun will be taken out of it.

And don’t you dare say that the fun is already out of it. I NEED these stories, dammit. It’s the only way to get through the winter. So humor me, OK?

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.