Daisuke Matsuzaka injured

UPDATE: Red Sox place Daisuke Matsuzaka on disabled list

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UPDATE: It’s official. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports that Matsuzaka has been placed on the disabled list. Alfredo Aceves will take his place in the starting rotation Saturday against the Cubs.

6:50 PM: Daisuke Matsuzaka was sent for an MRI on his elbow Tuesday, the Boston Globe reports, and is expected to go on the disabled list after giving up five runs and walking seven in 4 1/3 innings in an ugly outing against the Orioles on Monday night.

Matsuzaka had two brilliant starts for the Red Sox last month, allowing two hits over 15 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays and Angels, before leaving his April 29 outing with elbow tightness.  The Red Sox said that  was strictly a precaution, but he hasn’t pitched well in his three outing since, including his relief loss in extra innings against the Angels on May 4.

The Red Sox aren’t at all sure whether it’s really an injury that has him down, though.

“It has not been ready yet. We don’t really have much to discuss,” Terry Francona said of the MRI. “We’re talking about his elbow. Whether it’s sore or whether he’s afraid to get to a point where it will get sore, we’re trying to figure it out.”

The Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber pointed out that it may be something else entirely, tweeting the following:

For what it’s worth, pitching coach Curt Young believes Daisuke Matsuzaka’s issues last night were a product of illness, not injury

But whether he’s truly hurt or not, it looks like Dice-K will join John Lackey on the DL for Boston.   Reliever Michael Bowden is expected to be added to the roster in his place.

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)
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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.