Carlos Zambrano

The Phillies did not sign Carlos Zambrano

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Reports from the Dominican Republic earlier had reported that free agent Carlos Zambrano had been signed by the Philadelphia Phillies, but those reports have been squashed. GM Ruben Amaro called the reports “ridiculously premature” per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury.

Amaro had indicated recently that he was searching for pitching help from outside of the organization after Roy Halladay went on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Lefty John Lannan has been on the disabled list since mid-April with a strained left quad. Jonathan Pettibone came up to replace Lannan while Tyler Cloyd made a spot start last night before being sent back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Zambrano recently signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League as he attempts to work his way back on to a Major League team. He pitched for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks in 3.2 innings. In 132.1 innings with the Miami Marlins last year, he posted a 4.49 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 75 walks.

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)
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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)
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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.