New York Yankees' Rodriguez and Pettitte watch batting practice during workouts at the team's spring training complex in Tampa

Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez making progress

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Good news here for the AL East-leading Yankees.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that third baseman Alex Rodriguez underwent a checkup X-ray on his left hand Thursday and told reporters Sunday that everything looked “A-OK.”

“Waiting now, just have to wait it out,” A-Rod said. “There’s nothing I can do but wait it out now.”

If all continues to go smoothly with his rehabilitation, Rodriguez should be back on the Yankees’ active roster near the end of August. He fractured the fifth metacarpal in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in late July.

Veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte is also making steady progress. He’s now riding a stationary bike, doing pool workouts and throwing lightly in a cage without feeling any lingering discomfort in his once-fractured left ankle. The 40-year-old is aiming to return to the Bombers’ rotation at some point in September.

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)
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)
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.