Shaun Marcum has exceeded expectations in his return from Tommy John surgery, going 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA and 88/27 K/BB ratio in 107 innings after missing all of last season, but unfortunately the Blue Jays placed him on the disabled list today with more elbow problems.
The good news is that general manager Alex Anthopoulos downplayed the seriousness of the injury, saying Marcum likely could have avoided the DL and missed just one start if the Blue Jays weren’t interested in being “overly cautious”:
It’s not really a concern for us. Shaun would be the first guy to tell you that he’s fine. He said he went through this last year where he stopped throwing for a week and then he was right back at it and he was fine. Like I told Shaun, and I told him this in spring training, too, I said, “Look, we’re going to be overly cautious with you. You know how important you are and you know how good you are.” We expect to have him back right after the break.
Marcum leads the league with 17 starts and is on pace for nearly 220 innings, so even if his elbow hadn’t started barking again giving him some time off probably would have been a good idea anyway.
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.