Tampa Bay has designated Reid Brignac for assignment, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, dropping the one-time top prospect from the 40-man roster ahead of a potential trade or trip to the waiver wire.
Brignac ranked among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, but has hit just .227 with a .586 OPS in 256 games as a big leaguer and spent most of last season at Triple-A.
He’s a good defensive shortstop and still just 27 years old, but Brignac has never really even produced much at Triple-A. It’ll be interesting to see if the Rays can find a team willing to give up a little something in trade or if they’ll end up simply waiving him.
UPDATE: Tampa Bay also DFA’d Elliot Johnson, another good-glove, no-hit infielder who’s played quite a bit for the past couple seasons.
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.
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.