Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter says “no question” he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup

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Alex Rodriguez may end up missing the entire first half following hip surgery, but Derek Jeter thinks he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup despite breaking his ankle in the ALCS.

Just two weeks ago Yankees manager Joe Girardi called Jeter’s status for Opening Day “a little bit of a question mark” but today during a radio interview with Michael Kay the 38-year-old shortstop said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready for Game 1:

I’ll be in the walking boot for another few weeks and then I’ll be good to go. It’s been a long process. What’s it been, six or seven weeks, where I haven’t been able to move too much? But it’s healing probably just as expected. We still got a long way to go before the season starts but I’ll be ready.

Kay also asked Jeter about the New York Post photo suggesting he’d put on some weight during the rehab process and he brushed it off: “I thought it was pretty funny. I guess there’s a lot of things you can do with a picture.”

Sure enough Jeter took a picture yesterday with Harold Reynolds that shows he’s anything but chubby.

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.