Rangers manager Ron Washington told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas earlier today that Yorvit Torrealba will likely start behind the plate for Game 3 of the World Series tomorrow night against the Cardinals.
Mike Napoli, who caught the first two games of the series, is expected to move over to first base while Michael Young will serve as the designated hitter under American League rules.
Torrealba didn’t play in St. Louis because they didn’t want to lose either Young or Napoli in the lineup, but Washington believes his knowledge of the National League could come in handy.
“He’s been sharing things in meetings and I think we’ve seen results of that in Games 1 and 2,” Washington said. “I want to get him a game out there.”
Torrealba, who signed a two-year, $6.25 million contract with the Rangers last November, has spent 10 of his 12 major league seasons in the National League. The 32-year-old backstop is 4-for-13 (.308) with one double this postseason after hitting .273/.306/.399 with seven homers and a .705 OPS during the regular season.
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.