X-rays on A.J. Pierzynski’s left wrist initially came back negative after he was hit by a pitch Friday, but he hasn’t played since then and apparently a re-examination showed a fracture.
Pierzynski has been placed on the disabled list, with the White Sox calling up Donny Lucy to take his roster spot. Pierzynski’s backup, Ramon Castro, is already on the DL with a fractured hand and Lucy is a 28-year-old career .241 hitter in the minors, so Chicago will turn to rookie Tyler Flowers as the primary catcher.
Flowers has plenty of offensive upside, bringing lots of power and plate discipline to the table, but the 25-year-old has been held back by his defense behind the plate. No word yet on how long Pierzynski will be out, but missing the remainder of the season is possible.
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.