Russell Martin fouled a ball off his foot in Saturday’s game against the Mariners. I hear that Steve Kelley thought it was a fantastic play. The bad part of it is that it caused Joe Girardi to have to scratch Martin from today’s game with the Athletics. Martin was originally in the lineup today but it apparently didn’t feel too good today and I assume he’s day-to-day.
Losing Martin — who is more indispensable to the Yankees than Miguel Olivo is to the Mariners — is not a good thing, so you know New York wants him back as soon as possible. If the toe is still hurting tomorrow, word is that there’s a guy out there who can get Martin a toe, believe me. There are ways. You don’t wanna know about it, believe me. Hell, he can get them a toe by 3 o’clock this afternoon.
With nail polish.
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.