Philadelphia Phillies' Willis and Qualls wait to throw in the bullpen during workouts at the team's spring training complex in Clearwater

What the heck is going on with Dontrelle Willis?

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UPDATE: Well, this is going on with him.

8:23 AM: The Phillies cut Dontrelle Willis in spring training and he signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. He had been on the minor legaue disabled list with the O’s, but rather than activated when that was over, the Orioles put him on the restricted list.

What gives, Steve Melewski of MASN?

When asked if Willis is healthy enough to pitch now, a club official said, “Yes,” but would not comment on exactly why Willis is on the restricted list. I’ll make an assumption here that everything is not smooth for some reason right now between Willis and the club …

That’s a little troubling. And it can’t help but make one remember that he missed a lot of time with the Tigers over some strange, non-specific anxiety disorder that, at various times, Willis said he didn’t have but which compelled the team to put him on the DL and/or the restricted list anyway.

Is this that again? Something else? It’s nothing we’d care that much about with most any other player, but with Willis — an engaging, colorful player who went from so good to so bad so quickly — I can’t help but wonder and can’t help but be concerned.

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.