Zack Greinke’s sore elbow has made him “a longshot” to be ready for Opening Day, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
Even if he avoids any further elbow problems Greinke is running out of time to have more than one or two spring training starts before the season begins. Two early off days on the schedule mean the Dodgers won’t need a fifth starter until April 13, so Hernandez speculates that Greinke could begin the season on the disabled list.
Not exactly how you’d like a six-year, $147 million contract to start out, but the good news at least is that Greinke has been cleared to resume throwing already and it doesn’t sound like the Dodgers consider his elbow problems to be serious.
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.