The Royals made a pair of roster moves early Saturday, placing Chris Getz on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right oblique and activating Alex Gordon from the 15-day disabled list, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Gordon began the season on the DL because of a broken right thumb suffered on a head-first slide on March 6. He homered in his first at-bat for Triple-A Omaha on Friday after batting .235 (4-for-17) with two RBI in seven rehab games with Class A Wilmington.
Gordon, now 26 years old, has yet to meet the heavy expectations adorned upon him as a former first-round pick, batting just .250/.331/.415 over his first three seasons in the majors. He only played 49 games last season, thanks to hip surgery in May and a demotion in August — otherwise known as a rather obvious attempt to delay his free agency until 2013.
The Royals could have opted to recall Mike Aviles to play second base, but by activating Gordon, Alberto Callaspo is expected to shift back to his old stomping grounds.
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.