While Curtis Granderson threw today for this first time since his broken right forearm, another big bat in the Yankees’ lineup is inching closer to a return.
According to the Associated Press, Mark Teixeira hopes to be cleared to take “dry swings” tomorrow following a visit to hand and wrist specialist Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser. The 33-year-old has been sidelined since early March with a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist, but he said today that he feels “no pain” and “could not be happier with the progress.”
Teixeira expects to progress from dry swings to fungo bats to soft tosses over the next week. Barring any setbacks, he’ll then test himself against live pitching before returning to game action. We heard one week ago that he’s aiming to join the Yankees by May 1, but that goal could be overly optimistic.
Lyle Overbay has served as the starting first baseman in Teixeira’s absence and is hitting .250 (7-for-28) with one home run, two doubles, five RBI and a .704 OPS through eight games.
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.