The Padres have rewarded prospect outfielder Reymond Fuentes with his first call up to the majors. He’s making the start in center field tonight against the Diamondbacks.
Fuentes, the cousin of Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, was a first-round pick of the Red Sox back in 2009 and eventually found himself shipped to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. After struggling to the tune of a .218/.301/.302 batting line last season, the 22-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2013 by batting .330/.413/.448 with six home runs, 43 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 107 games between Double- and Triple-A. He batted .418 (23-for-55) after his promotion to Triple-A earlier this month and hit safely in 13 out of 14 games.
With Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin still rehabbing injuries and questionable to return this season, there should be plenty of opportunities for Fuentes to show what he can do down the stretch.
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.
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.