Bud Selig

The A’s and Oakland poised to strike a deal. Thanks to Bud Selig saying the A’s could leave town immediately

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The Oakland A’s have been trying to get Major League Baseball to allow them to move to San Jose for over five years now. That approval has not been and likely never will be forthcoming. But, when the Oakland City Council was poised to reject the team’s new lease for the Oakland Coliseum today, Selig did give them at least some form of approval to move. It was to Bluff City, U.S.A, but still:

The Athletics and Oakland appeared headed for a last-minute deal Thursday morning after the A’s owner informed city and county leaders that had received permission from baseball commissioner Bud Selig to immediately move the team out of Oakland unless a deal was approved.

I’d reckon that permission did not include an actual location where the A’s could go — and if the permission actually scared the Oakland City Council, God, who are these people and why don’t they read up on Major League Baseball’s politics more often — but I guess if it works it works.

And it appears to have worked. The City Council is expected to approve the lease extension today.

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.