Earlier this week Juan Carlos Oviedo reportedly received his work visa, but then it turned out he received a pardon from the U.S. State Department that’s necessary before getting a visa but hadn’t gotten the actual visa yet.
Now he has both, with Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reporting that Oviedo has finally been given a visa six months after being charged with identity fraud in the Dominican Republic and is expected to arrive at the Marlins’ spring training complex Monday.
Once he does arrive the clock will start ticking on his eight-week suspension, so Oviedo won’t be a factor for the Marlins before late July. Oviedo was the Marlins’ closer back when he went by Leo Nunez, saving 92 games from 2009-2011, but with Heath Bell now filling that role and several other relievers ahead of him on the late-inning depth chart he seems likely to work in middle relief initially.
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.