According to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jair Jurrjens threw his second bullpen session in the past three days Friday and said his ailing right knee felt well enough to pitch in a game.
“Some pitches I feel it, some pitches I don’t,” Jurrjens said. “It was good.”
Braves manager Bobby Cox said “it’s just good to know that I think he could pitch,” and suggested that Jurrjens might make a relief appearance during this weekend’s series against the Phillies.
Jurrjens hasn’t faced live hitters since September 14 due to a slight tear of the meniscus in his right knee, so the Braves still need to evaluate whether he would be included on the potential postseason roster.
The most likely scenario is that Jurrjens pitches if or when the Braves wrap up the Wild Card. He’s not pitching any important innings. That’s for sure.
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.