Kyle McClellan, who was hoping to come back from shoulder surgery and win a spot on the Rangers as a fifth starter or long reliever, has been shut down with more shoulder problems.
Ron Matejko of ESPN Dallas reports that McClellan had to cut short Sunday’s bullpen session, but the right-hander seems optimistic that it’s a minor setback.
“You know pain and you know if it’s something structural, but this is just one of the muscles,” McClellan said. “I can put my finger right on it and feel it.”
When healthy McClellan posted a 3.69 ERA in 378 innings for the Cardinals, but his health being in question is why he was available to the Rangers on a minor-league deal.
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.