It’s a near certainty at this point that Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright is going to require Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his injured right elbow, but an official decision might not come for at least another 24 hours.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wainwright has requested that MRI results taken Wednesday in St. Louis be shipped out to Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for a second opinion. Yocum will review those results on Thursday and then recommend a course of action.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Wednesday evening that his initial read on Wainwright’s injury has not changed. Mozeliak was the first to break the news to the media on Wednesday morning and also the first to mention the words “Tommy John.”
“Ninety-nine times out of 100 a player would seek a second opinion on this,” Mozeliak said Wednesday night. “At this point, Adam would like to seek a second opinion, so before we make any conclusions on what was found we’re going to do that at this time.”
Wainwright finished second in last year’s National League Cy Young Award vote after posting a 20-11 record, 2.42 ERA and 213 strikeouts across 230.1 innings. He meant 6.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) to the Cardinals and will be sorely missed no matter who steps in to take his place.
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.