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MLB Network to produce Fox’s pregame show

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I tend not to watch the pregame shows for national broadcasts. No compelling reason for it. It’s just that I spend all day thinking about the broader baseball news and upcoming games as it is, so when go to watch a national telecast I just like to turn on the TV and have the game begin.

For those of you who do watch the pregame shows, however, change is afoot: Fox is subcontracting out its pregame festivities to MLB Network:

MLB Network is teaming with Fox Sports on an expanded pregame show before the broadcaster’s game of the week. Fox Saturday Baseball Pregame Show will run for 30 minutes, originating live from MLB’s state-of-the-art Studio 3 in Secaucus, N.J.

The program will be hosted by veteran Fox Sports and MLB Network broadcaster Matt Vasgersian. He will be joined weekly by a rotating roster of MLB Network analysts: Harold Reynolds, Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar.

In other news, Chris Rose and Kevin Kennedy’s golf games may reach new heights this summer.

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.