The Dodgers were dead-last in the majors last month with a .212 batting average, a .571 OPS and 88 runs scored, but help is on the way.
Matt Kemp told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times a short while ago that he remains on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Kemp has been sidelined for a little over a month after aggravating a left hamstring strain. He is slated to play in rehab games throughout the week and hopes to return when the Dodgers begin the second half of the season next Friday against the Padres. While he will skip the All-Star Game, he plans to compete for the National League in the Home Run Derby.
Kemp, 27, is batting .355/.444/.719 with 12 home runs, 28 RBI and a 1.163 OPS in 36 games this season. The Dodgers went 11-17 in June and will enter play this evening at 44-36, one game behind the Giants in the National League West.
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.