Mark Trumbo

Rosenthal: Chances of a Mark Trumbo trade “increasing”

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Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has routinely downplayed a potential trade of Mark Trumbo so far this offseason, but things are heating up at the Winter Meetings in Orlando.

The Diamondbacks are in the market for a power bat this winter and made a strong run at Carlos Beltran before he agreed to a deal with the Yankees. Trumbo would obviously fit the bill, but the price tag would be substantial. Arizona does have starting pitching to deal, which is one obvious area of need for the Angels. Top prospect Archie Bradley isn’t going anywhere, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today speculated over the weekend that Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and Wade Miley could be on the table.

Trumbo, who turns 28 in January, has amassed 95 home runs over the past three seasons. Only Jay Bruce, Jose Bautista, Adrian Beltre, and Miguel Cabrera have more during the same timespan. His power has value, but he owns a .299 on-base percentage through 460 games in the majors.

UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that 12 teams are in the mix for Trumbo, with ESPN’s Jayson Stark naming the Royals as another potential fit. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times hears that the Angels are not interested in Skaggs for Trumbo, at least one-for-one-.

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.