As expected the A’s have placed Coco Crisp on the disabled list with an inner-ear infection, calling up Michael Taylor from Triple-A to replace him on the roster and in the outfield.
Taylor was a top prospect when the A’s acquired him from the Blue Jays via the Phillies in mid-2009, ranking No. 29 on Baseball America‘s list the next spring, but his stock has dropped since then and now he’s getting his first extended look in the majors at age 26.
Taylor was hitting well at Triple-A with a .347 batting average and .938 OPS in 23 games, but in 273 total games at the level he’s hit .280 with a modest .439 slugging percentage.
Crisp has been battling dizziness, head congestion, and various other symptoms, so it’s unclear how quickly he’ll be able to return after beginning the season in a 13-for-67 (.194) slump.
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.