Jason Marquis was away from Twins camp for two weeks to be with his family after his seven-year-old daughter was hospitalized following a bicycling accident.
He’s back with the team now–and she’s recovering well from significant injuries, thankfully–but because Marquis wasn’t able to stay on his usual throwing program to build up his pitch count the Twins will skip his turn in the rotation at least once.
In the meantime the 33-year-old veteran will be optioned to the minors, according to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who speculates that Marquis will make “a couple starts before rejoining the Twins.”
Marquis, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Twins as a free agent this offseason, will have a rotation spot waiting for him as soon as he gets stretched out.
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.