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HBT’s Trade Deadline Wrapup

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The non-waiver trade deadline hit at 4PM EDT today. It was pretty uneventful compared to years past, with lots of chatter but very few deals. Here’s what we had go down today before the non-waiver trade deadline:

Before today, we had the following in the two weeks leading up to the deadline:

Not the most active deadline in recent memory. There are reasons for this. The second wild card and greater overall parity in baseball puts more teams in the mindset of contenders, leading to a profound lack of teams selling off parts wholesale. The Cubs did it. The Astros. That’s pretty much it.

Also limiting trades: the lack of teams unloading players who are poised for free agency in cost-savings moves. Teams are locking up their talent earlier and earlier these days, meaning fewer cost-avoidance deals. Teams also have more money thanks to escalating TV contracts.  All of this makes for a much less liquid trading market than we’re used to seeing.

That doesn’t mean the deals are done, of course. Between now and the end of August teams can still complete trades of players who have cleared waivers. Trades of any kind which are completed before August 31 will allow the player in question to appear on a team’s postseason roster.

No matter how the trades come, however, keep a tab open with HBT at all times, as we’ll give you everything you need to know of the comings and goings of players along with our usual wall-to-wall baseball coverage.

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.

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”