After signing Kyle Lohse to a three-year, $33 million deal earlier this week, the Brewers suddenly have more starting pitchers than rotation spots. While early indications were that Mike Fiers would be the odd man out, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Chris Narveson will begin the season in the bullpen.
Narveson is coming off surgery last May to repair tears in his labrum and rotator cuff, so the Brewers see this as an opportunity limit his workload in the early going. The 31-year-old southpaw has a 5.50 ERA and 10/6 K/BB ratio over 18 innings this spring and was knocked around for six runs over 3 2/3 innings in his most recent start.
“He’s OK, but he’s been really pushing through this thing in Spring Training, through the surgery,” Roenicke said. “In the long run, it’s probably going to help him to limit his innings at the start.”
The Brewers will begin the season with a rotation consisting of Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Wily Peralta, Loshe, and Fiers.
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.