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Rafael Soriano has lost ten pounds, found his breaking ball

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This isn’t BSOHL territory — no one makes that claim here or anything close to it — but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Rafael Soriano has lost 10 pounds and looks a lot learner as camp opens.

Soriano started working a month early. He claims having extra weight on him last year is what sapped his velocity and kept him from throwing his breaking ball effectively. He became a fastball-only pitcher for all practical purposes and as Soriano notes, not many people can get away with that:

“If I’ve got my stuff and they hit it, I’m fine,” Soriano said. “I’ll take it. I got a problem when my second pitch is not there. Most of the time I throw a fastball. There’s one guy that do that [stuff]. Mariano [Rivera]. There’s nobody else.”

I bet he didn’t say “stuff.” And I bet here, when he was talking about Florida being cold compared to the Dominican, he didn’t say “messed”:

At the locker next to him, Ross Detwiler overheard Soriano’s plans. “Too cold?” Detwiler asked him.

“The problem is when I go to the Dominican right away, everything be [messed] up,” Soriano replied.

“You can come stay in St. Louis one winter with me,” Detwiler said.

“No chance, bro,” Soriano said, drawing laughter from Detwiler.

Interesting column about an interesting and, I would suspect, kinda complicated guy that is probably destined to hit the free agent market next winter.

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.