Tim Hudson allowed two runs over three innings in his first minor-league rehab start Saturday at Single-A and he’s scheduled to take the mound for his second rehab outing Thursday.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Hudson is slated to throw around 65 pitches and four innings as he recovers from November back surgery and the plan still involves him making a total of 5-6 starts in the minors.
That puts Hudson in line for an early May return to the Braves’ rotation, at which point Randall Delgado may be headed back to Triple-A. Thursday’s start should provide a better idea of Hudson’s timetable, however, as O’Brien reports that both manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell will be in attendance with the Braves off that night.
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.