John Mayberry no doubt had hopes of following up a poor season at Triple-A with a great showing in the Arizona Fall League, but instead the Phillies prospect has been sent home with a leg injury after appearing in just one game.
Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Mayberry was examined by doctors in Florida and is expected to be healthy in time for spring training, but the former first-round pick already seems like a long shot to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Jayson Werth leaving as a free agent would leave a big hole in the Phillies’ outfield, but top prospect Domonic Brown is expected to replace him in right field after getting his feet wet in the majors down the stretch this season.
Brown hit .327/.391/.589 in the minors this season, including .346/.390/.561 in 28 games at Triple-A as a 22-year-old, while Mayberry hit .267/.328/.412 in 128 games on that same Triple-A team as a 26-year-old.
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.