Josh Beckett

Josh Beckett exits with hyperextended left knee

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9:20 p.m. EDT: Beckett was removed with the Red Sox are calling a mildly hyperextended left knee.  The team said it was a precaution and that he’s listed as day-to-day.

Common sense would dictate that he’ll be scratched from the All-Star Game, even though it looks like he’ll be ready to pitch after the break.

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Red Sox All-Star right-hander Josh Beckett left his start Friday against the Orioles after five innings with an apparent leg injury.

Beckett, who opened the game with four scoreless innings, appeared to slip on the mound while delivering a pitch in the fifth.  The trainer came out to look at him, but all Beckett asked for at the time was for a little work to be done on the mound.

Beckett got his wish, but he struggled over the rest of the inning.  Having already allowed a homer to Derrek Lee, he went on to walk two batters and give up two RBI singles before striking out Vladimir Guerrero to end the frame.

After the inning, Beckett walked into the tunnel with the trainer and a Red Sox team doctor and never came back out.  Matt Albers replaced him in the sixth with Boston up 8-3.

Beckett didn’t appear to be walking with a significant limp, so hopefully this is just a minor injury for him.  Still, it’s more distressing news for the Red Sox, who just lost a third starter to the DL when Jon Lester suffered a strained lat muscle Tuesday.

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)
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.