Whatever slim chance the Orioles had of getting anything of value for Kevin Millwood before the trade deadline likely vanished today as he was placed on the disabled list with a strained forearm.
Millwood has allowed 38 runs in 33.2 innings over his last seven starts, including a one-inning, five-run clunker last week after which manager Juan Samuel basically concluded he must have some kind of injury.
Knowing Kevin, he’s not going to tell you what’s wrong and what’s not. He is one of those guys that’s going to take the ball anytime you give it to him. Yes, we have some concern that maybe he pitched a bunch early in the season. Who knows, but we’ll see. We are trying to figure out which way we are going to go with him.
Samuel reportedly had a closed-door meeting with Millwood and apparently convinced him to admit to being hurt and take some time off.
He’s just 2-8 with a 5.88 ERA in 18 starts overall, which certainly isn’t what the Orioles were hoping for when they acquired the impending free agent and his $12 million salary from the Rangers this winter. Since winning the ERA title in 2005 with a 2.86 mark Millwood has a 4.72 ERA in 143 starts, including an ERA above 5.00 in three of the past four seasons.
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.