Update: Andro has some further clarification, saying Holland iced the knee and is wearing a black sleeve on it. He will have an MRI on Monday, if needed, but the young pitcher doesn’t think it is anything serious.
1:40 PM: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Holland can’t get an MRI on his right knee this weekend. The current diagnosis is a mild sprain. If he feels better on Monday, the test could be scratched. Sounds like good news.
1:08 PM: According to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Derek Holland injured his right knee during agility drills on Saturday. After being examined by team doctor Keith Meister, the Rangers sent him for an MRI.
We’re currently awaiting results, but it would be a real shame to see his development slowed for a second straight season. The Rangers jerked Holland around last season between the bullpen and the starting rotation and he understandably struggle with an uncertain role, finishing 8-13 with a 6.12 ERA in 138 1/3 innings.
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.