It still looks like the Yankees are going to finish with the American League’s best record, but not everything is fine and dandy in New York. Freddy Garcia just turned in his third straight poor start Sunday, giving up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Blue Jays. Adam Lind homered off him twice.
Here’s the starting pitcher ERAs for the Yankees over the last 30 days:
Ivan Nova: 2.41
CC Sabathia: 3.34
Bartolo Colon: 4.88
Phil Hughes: 5.14
Freddy Garcia: 8.56
A.J. Burnett: 9.00
Each pitcher there except Garcia has had exactly five starts. Garcia has had three since coming off the disabled list.
It’s safe to say Sabathia, Colon and Nova are in. Garcia still has the second best overall ERA of the group, a 3.77 mark that’s slightly better than the 3.81 marks shared by Nova and Colon. Still, Garcia was always going to be a hard guy to trust in the postseason and now it seems likely that the Yankees will instead choose to take their chances one of the harder throwers. Whether that’s Hughes or Burnett will probably depend on how each fares from here.
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.