Matt Holliday has been sidelined since March 9 with a with an intercostal strain on his right side. He was supposed to return to action last Thursday, but didn’t. He was supposed to return this weekend, but again he did not.
Well, according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holliday will be in the lineup for Monday’s spring exhibition game against the Red Sox and may even play left field. The slugger, who signed a seven-year, $120 million contract extension this winter, participated in intensive batting practice and base-running drills on Saturday and Sunday and was deemed ready for live games by the Cardinals’ medical staff. He told the Post-Dispatch that he will only require 20-to-30 at-bats to get his timing right for the regular season.
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.