Ronald Belisario missed all of last season because he couldn’t secure a visa, but this year the Venezuelan reliever has already reported to Dodgers camp in Arizona in the hopes of reclaiming a bullpen job.
Of course, since nothing ever seems to come easy with Belisario he’d first have to serve a 25-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy, which means he won’t be on the Opening Day roster regardless of how good he looks in spring training.
Belisario had a fantastic rookie season in 2009, throwing 71 innings with a 2.04 ERA and 64/29 K/BB ratio, but posted a 5.04 ERA in 55 innings as a sophomore and missed a big chunk of the season while undergoing treatment for an undisclosed drug problem. At this point the Dodgers should probably view any contributions from Belisario as a bonus and work from there.
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.