With Andres Torres headed to the disabled list because of a strained left calf, the Mets are planning to promote Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Triple-A prior to Saturday’s game.
Nieuwenhuis is recovering from an injury himself, having been down for most of the spring with a strained oblique. That prevented him from getting much play as a candidate to fill in when it looked like both Torres and Scott Hairston might start the season on the DL. Nieuwenhuis, though, is back on the field now and he went 0-for-2 in Thursday’s Triple-A opener.
Nieuwenhuis hit .298/.403/.505 in 53 games for Triple-A Buffalo last year before suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder and missing the second half of the season. Baseball America rates him the Mets’ No. 7 prospect.
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.