Twins outfielder (and sometimes designated hitter) Jason Kubel has been on the 15-day disabled list since the end of May with a sprained left foot.
He began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this week and was hoping to return to the Minnesota starting lineup in a matter of days, but that plan is going to have to be put on a bit of a delay.
According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kubel was lifted from a rehab game Thursday at High-A Fort Myers after tweaking his left foot while chasing after a ball. It’s not a serious setback, and the 29-year-old is going to attempt to resume his rehab assignment on Friday night.
“I knew I was going to have to play through a little pain,’’ Kubel said in a phone interview with the Star-Tribune, “but it was a little bit more than just a little. So I didn’t want to keep going like that. Just a little setback.”
Kubel, 29, was batting .310/.355/.465 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 217 plate appearances before suffering the left foot injury. The Twins, still 11 games under .500, sure could use that offense right now.
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.