When the Indians told reporters that they’d have an update on Grady Sizemore’s health status today Jordan Bastian of MLB.com immediately tweeted that it “sounds ominous” and … well, he was right.
Sizemore, who was already expected to miss Opening Day because of a back injury suffered three weeks ago, underwent micro discectomy surgery on his lower back and now will miss at least 8-12 weeks.
Given his lengthy injury history it’s tough to imagine Sizemore making a speedy recovery and returning 12 weeks from today would mean early June. Not exactly what the Indians had in mind when they declined his $8 million option and then re-signed Sizemore for $5 million, although they’re reasonably well-equipped to handle his absence (and certainly used to it by now) with Michael Brantley shifting from left field to center field.
And between Grady’s back surgery and Scott’s torn ACL this has been a very tough week for Sizemores.
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.