Bronson Arroyo

UPDATE: Bronson Arroyo diagnosed with mononucleosis

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UPDATE: According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Bronson Arroyo has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. A number of players have missed considerable time with the illness — Jed Lowrie is one recent example — but Arroyo told Sheldon via text message that he does not expect to miss any starts. We’ll see about that one.

2:12 PM: Bronson Arroyo felt good enough to throw 87 pitches in yesterday’s start, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that he has “a lingering cough” and underwent blood tests to check for valley fever.

Here’s the definition of valley fever from WebMD.com:

A disease also called coccidioidomycosis due to a fungus called Coccidioides immitis. About 40 percent of people infected with this fungus develop symptoms. Most often they have an influenza-like illness with fever, cough, headaches, rash, and myalgias (muscle pains).

That may not sound particularly worrisome, but valley fever is what caused Conor Jackson to miss nearly all of 2009 while playing for the Diamondbacks and questions about his health lingered into 2010. It can definitely be a very serious thing, but Arroyo told Fay that he expects to make his April 3 start and “they just want to get me on the right medication.”

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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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.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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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.