Bobby Jenks hasn’t pitched since July 7 because of a back injury and manager Terry Francona told reporters this morning that the big right-hander is unlikely to return this season.
This is Jenks’ third disabled list stint of the season and he allowed 12 runs in 16 innings in between the injuries, so the Red Sox have no real motivation to get him healthy to serve as a mop-up man down the stretch anyway.
However, because they signed Jenks to a two-year, $12 million deal as a free agent he’ll be under contract for $6 million next season.
In other Red Sox injury news, Erik Bedard is expected to skip his next turn in the rotation because of a knee injury. Unlike with Jenks there’s plenty of motivation to get Bedard healthy, as he’s thrown 32 innings with a 3.66 ERA and 32/13 K/BB ratio since joining Boston’s rotation.
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.