Shaun Marcum threw a 30-pitch simulated game yesterday, reporting no problems after what Mike Still of MLB.com calls “a major step in his recovery from right elbow soreness.”
Marcum was shifted from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list last week, which means he’s not even eligible to return until next week. And he’s unlikely to be ready by then anyway, as the Brewers haven’t scheduled a minor-league rehab assignment yet.
If healthy Marcum likely would have been traded along with Zack Greinke last month, but the impending free agent’s elbow injury and history of arm problems put the Brewers in a tough spot. It’s possible he could return in time to make or two starts before August 31, allowing the Brewers to potentially make a late deal for him that brings back a little value, but he hasn’t pitched since June 14.
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.