Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram passes along word that veteran right-hander Brandon Webb had to be pulled off his minor league rehab assignment Thursday after renewed inflammation was discovered in his rotator cuff.
Webb surrendred five earned runs on eight hits during a 3 1/3-inning rehab start on Monday afternoon at Double-A Frisco. It was his first appearance in a professional game since the first week of the 2009 regular season.
The 32-year-old has been prescribed anti-inflammatories and will continue playing catch on a near-daily basis, but he won’t be allowed to resume his minor league rehab assignment for another seven days per Major League Baseball policy.
With his shoulder still nagging and his fastball velocity still residing somewhere between 81 and 84 MPH, it’s probably safe to wonder at this point whether we’ll ever see Webb take another major league mound.
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.