Evan Gattis has had a nice little rookie season so far, but while he still has power to burn, the league is starting to figure him out and his OBP is going down. So it’s probably good that Brian McCann is back. The Braves just activated him and he’ll start tonight. The corresponding roster move: the optioning of Tyler Pastornicky. Which sort of sounds like an art house movie title if you think about it.
McCann is coming off shoulder surgery but has looked pretty good on his rehab stint. He’s a .279/.351/.475 career hitter and will be a welcome addition to the feast-or-famine offense they’ve got going on in Atlanta.
Gattis gets to stay and will likely spot in an outfield corner, at first and catch a little while providing a power threat off the bench.
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.