David Robertson gave the Yankees quite the scare last week after falling down some stairs and suffering a bone bruise in his right foot, but early indications are that he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
Chad Jennings of the Journal News reports that Robertson was able to ditch his walking boot this afternoon and played catch without pain. While it’s unclear when he’ll be cleared to resume throwing off a mound, he expressed confidence that he’ll be in the Yankees’ bullpen for the season opener against the Rays on April 6.
As long as I don’t have any setbacks, I don’t see why I wouldn’t be, he said.
Robertson, who turns 27 in April, was one of the best relievers in the game last season, posting a microscopic 1.08 ERA and a dominant 100/35 K/BB ratio over 66 2/3 innings while setting up for Mariano Rivera.
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.