From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes this:
Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia faced hitters Tuesday in Jupiter, Fla., and he could one more workout away from a rehab assignment.
That final workout will happen Friday afternoon and will involve Garcia throwing around 45 pitches. If all goes smoothly, he should make his first rehab start late next week at one of the Cardinals’ Low-A affiliates in south Florida.
Garcia has been sidelined since early June because of a left shoulder strain. The 26-year-old native of Reynosa, Mexico had a pedestrian 4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 51/19 K/BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings before landing on the disabled list. He owns a cool 3.45 career ERA and 1.34 career WHIP.
Assuming no setbacks, Garcia will be back in the St. Louis starting rotation by mid-August.
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.