Jamie Moyer missed the final two months of the season with an elbow injury that he aggravated while pitching winter ball in the Dominican Republic earlier this month, which combined with his status as a free agent led many to assume that he’d be calling it a career at age 48.
However, yesterday Moyer announced plans to undergo elbow surgery with an eye toward returning for a 25th season in 2012, writing “we are cautiously optimistic superman will make a comeback!” on the Facebook page for his family’s charity.
Moyer was still capable of getting big-league hitters out before the injury, going 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts for the Phillies, but he’ll be 49 years old by the time spring training rolls around in 2012 and no pitcher in the past 40 seasons has appeared in a game at that age.
In fact, Satchell Paige, Hoyt Wilhelm, and Jack Quinn are the only pitchers in baseball history to take the mound at 49 or older and they combined to throw a total of just 44 innings. Toss in the normal question marks associated with going under the knife and the odds are stacked pretty heavily against Moyer pitching again. Of course, the odds were also stacked pretty heavily against someone with just 34 career wins through age 30 still being around at age 47, let alone with 267 victories.
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.