Hunter Pence underwent sports hernia surgery shortly after the Phillies were knocked out of the playoffs and told Bernardo Fallas of the Philadelphia Daily News that “the recovery is going well” so far.
Pence explained that he’s already been cleared to run and swing a bat, so he seems to be on track with the 3-6 week recovery timetable.
Philadelphia has Pence under team control through 2013, but he made $6.9 million this past season and is in line for a sizable raise heading into his second season of arbitration eligibility.
Pence hit .314 with 22 homers and an .871 OPS in 154 games for the Astros and Phillies, topping an .850 OPS for the first time since he was a rookie in 2007.
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.