CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins have signed No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek to a $6 million bonus. The terms were first reported by Jim Callis of MLB.com.
Kolek actually signed for $821,000 under the slot value for the pick, so the Marlins have extra draft pool money to use elsewhere, but Callis notes that it’s still third-highest bonus ever for a high school pitcher. Brady Aiken, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Astros this year, and Pirates prospect Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon each received $6.5 million.
Checking in at a sturdy 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Kolek is an 18-year-old right-hander out of Texas who is best known for his 100 mph fastball. Not surprisingly, he still has some work to do with his command and secondary pitches, but the upside is immense.
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.