Chipper Jones

Brian Cashman would really like Chipper Jones to come out of retirement

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Chipper Jones is retired. He has said so unequivocally and repeatedly, as recently as two weeks ago. Still, when you’re Brian Cashman and you’ve lost your third baseman, first baseman and one of your corner outfielders I suppose you’re allowed to be hopeful about things:

Those first two tweets sounded like Cashman — who was speaking to reporters about his Derek Lee inquiries — just messing around. In the same vein as “sure, I’d love it if we could sign Johnny Mize.”  But the last one suggesting that Cashman is serious was somewhat surprising.

It’s not going to happen. Chipper Jones is not, by his own admission, at all interested in playing baseball anymore. Even if he was, there is nothing in his entire history or temperament which suggests he’d go back on his decision to retire, let alone that he’d do so for the Yankees or any other team besides the Braves.

UPDATE: It seems Cashman has reached out to Scott Rolen too, but there isn’t much traction there.  No word on when Kelly Gruber will get his call.

But when you’re desperate you’re desperate. And if I was Brian Cashman I’d want Chipper Jones too.

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.