Mets close to long-term contract extension with Jon Niese

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In an exclusive report on ESPNNewYork.com, beat writer Adam Rubin passes along word that the Mets are nearing agreement on a long-term contract extension with left-handed starter Jon Niese.

The deal is thought to be similar to the five-year, $28.5 million pact that 25-year-old southpaw Derek Holland got from the Rangers back in mid-March. That contract also carries club options for the 2017 ($11 million) and 2018 ($11.5 million) seasons.

Niese, who is also 25 and a native of Ohio like Holland, registered a 4.40 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 138/44 K/BB ratio across 157 1/3 innings for the Mets last year before straining a muscle on his right side near the end of August. The former seventh-round draft pick has a 4.39 career ERA in 65 total major league appearances (64 of which have been starts).

Video: Troy Tulowitzki plays along with a photographer who thought he was a pitcher

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Thursday marked photo day for the Blue Jays. There are always some oddities, usually when the players create fun for themselves. This time, the fun happened when a photographer mistook shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for a pitcher. Tulowitzki rolled with it and followed the photographer’s instructions to pose like a pitcher.

Hazel Mae has the hilarious video:

Hitters, of course, typically pose with a bat over their shoulder. Pitchers typically have their hand in their glove, sometimes leaning forward as if receiving the signs from their catcher.

Tulowitzki has exclusively played shortstop during his 12-year career in the majors, but perhaps one day he’ll step on the mound and be able to call himself a pitcher.