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Jhoulys Chacin diagnosed with pectoral injury after getting second opinion

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UPDATE: Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Chacin was diagnosed with an injury to his pectoral minor muscle involving a nerve entrapment. This rules out an injury to his biceps, shoulder or elbow.

The injury can be treated through rest and exercise, but Chacin isn’t expected to resume throwing for at least another few weeks.

2:14 PM: Jhoulys Chacin’s shoulder injury hasn’t gotten any better in three weeks on the disabled list, so the Rockies are sending the 24-year-old right-hander for a second opinion.

“We just can’t figure out what’s going on right now,” general manager Dan O’Dowd told Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “Our medical people are very creative people. They’re looking for answers.”

Chacin was initially going to be optioned to Triple-A, but when an MRI exam showed inflammation in his shoulder the Rockies canceled the demotion and instead placed him on the DL. He hasn’t been cleared to resume throwing yet and Chacin’s struggles dating back to the second half of last season are worrisome.

Harding notes that Chacin went 8-4 with a 2.71 ERA through his first 15 starts last season, but is just 3-13 with a 5.14 ERA since then. During spring training O’Dowd publicly questioned Chacin’s offseason conditioning program, which the pitcher didn’t appreciate, and according to Harding he also kept shoulder soreness from the training staff for quite a while.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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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.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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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.