Torii Hunter Jr. made a verbal commitment to Notre Dame back in September and stuck with his plan, signing a national letter of intent with the Fighting Irish today.
Hunter, whose dad Torii Sr. signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Tigers this offseason, is a “four star” wide receiver from Prosper, Texas who was offered a scholarship by a bunch of prominent programs.
His status as a freshman is in some doubt, however, because Hunter broke his femur while practicing for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl last month and will need 6-8 months to recover, suggesting he might end up redshirting.
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.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.