New York Mets v San Diego Padres

Mets plan to give Travis d’Arnaud significant playing time for remainder of the season

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Mets plan to give rookie catcher Travis d’Arnaud significant playing time even when John Buck returns from paternity leave. He went 0-for-2 with two walks in the series finale against the Padres this afternoon, maintaining his line on the season at .000/.500/.000 in eight plate appearances over his first two games.

In 78 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas prior to his promotion, d’Arnaud was hitting .304 with a .487 on-base percentage and nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts. He had previously missed a significant portion of the season, between April 17 and August 9, due to a fractured metatarsal in his left foot.

d’Arnaud, rated the #6 overall prospect in baseball entering the season by MLB.com, was one piece that came to the Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade with the Blue Jays. He was joined by prospects Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra, as well as the veteran Buck.

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.