Jameson Taillon

Pirates bump top prospect Jameson Taillon up to Triple-A

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Jameson Taillon, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft after Bryce Harper, is on his way up to Triple-A Indianapolis after getting promoted by the Pirates on Friday, the Altoona Mirror’s Cory Giger reports.

Taillon was 4-7 with a 3.67 ERA and a 106/36 K/BB ratio in 110 1/3 innings for Double-A Altoona. He still hasn’t truly dominated at any level — he’s 15-18 with a 3.70 ERA since his pro debut in 2011 — but given his excellent stuff and history of fine walk rates, he’s regarded as one of the game’s top five pitching prospects. It’s doubtful that he’ll see the majors this year, but he could be broken in next season much like Gerrit Cole was this year.

Once that happens, the Pirates could have all of the following top-11 overall draft picks on their roster:

Neil Walker – 2004 11th overall
Andrew McCutchen – 2005 11th overall
Pedro Alvarez – 2008 2nd overall
Tony Sanchez – 2009 4th overall
Jameson Taillon – 2010 2nd overall
Gerrit Cole – 2011 1st overall

Assuming all goes well with Taillon and Cole, then it’s a good guess that they won’t be picking in the top 11 again anytime soon.

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.