Rick Ankiel entered today’s marathon ballgame against the Marlins in the 13th inning, taking reliever David Aardsma’s spot at #9 in the lineup. In his four at-bats, he struck out three times and fouled out weakly to Placido Polanco at third base. Since coming over to the Mets after the Astros cut him, Ankiel came to the plate 71 times, getting hits in only 12 of them.
The Mets designated Ankiel for assignment and have recalled Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Triple-A Las Vegas, reports ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Nieuwenhuis is hitting .232 in the Minors, but has a .339 on-base percentage thanks to 22 walks in 167 PA. He has a .486 slugging percentage as well, thanks in large part to ten home runs.
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.