As expected, Giants closer Brian Wilson and his beard have been activated from the disabled list after sitting out the first five games with a strained oblique muscle.
He returns after being sidelined for the minimum 15 days, with the DL stint backdated to his last spring training appearance on March 23.
To make room for Wilson on the roster the Giants put setup man Santiago Casilla on the DL with elbow soreness, so the bullpen won’t be at full strength even with the closer back.
San Francisco also announced that first baseman Travis Ishikawa, who was designated for assignment near the end of camp, cleared waivers and has accepted a demotion to Triple-A. Getting back to the majors will be tougher for Ishikawa now that he’s no longer on the 40-man roster.
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.