The Reds are already without left-hander Sean Marshall due to a shoulder sprain, but their bullpen was handed another blow today, as Jonathan Broxton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor mass strain in his right elbow.
Broxton allowed the winning run in Thursday’s 14-inning loss to the Cubs, after which he revealed that he has been dealing with elbow soreness. So yes, Reds manager Dusty Baker turned to an injured pitcher as opposed to using Aroldis Chapman. Oh well.
Broxton, who was brought back over the winter on a three-year, $21 million contract, owns a 4.33 ERA and 20/11 K/BB ratio in 27 innings this season. It sounds like the Reds could be on the lookout for bullpen help leading up to the trade deadline next month.
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.