Scott Kazmir

Scott Kazmir threw for scouts today, clocked in high-80s

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Scott Kazmir held a workout for scouts today and Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that approximately 10 teams sent someone to take a look at him.

Kazmir’s fastball was clocked mostly in the high-80s, which is similar to the diminished velocity he’s shown while struggling during the past few seasons.

Kazmir is still just 28 years old, but hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since 2008 and was released by the Angels following just one start last year. Overall he has a 5.54 ERA and 210/141 K/BB ratio in 299 innings over the past three seasons, but Kazmir’s once-overpowering raw stuff has gradually deteriorated and he coughed up a remarkable 30 runs in 15 innings at Triple-A last year.

The fact that two-thirds of the teams didn’t bother sending anyone to scout Kazmir says a lot about his chances of getting back to the big leagues, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he landed a no-risk minor-league deal from one of the 10 teams in attendance.

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.