From “concern” to the disabled list. Anibal Sanchez is going on the shelf for a bit: the Tigers have placed him on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. Sanchez, who is 6-5 with a 2.76 ERA, will be replaced by Jose Alvarez in the rotation for his next turn. Jim Leyland is optimistic, and believes he will only miss two starts.
The Tigers also placed catcher Alex Avila on the DL. Avila was hit by a pitch on the left forearm in yesterday’s game. In his place on a day to day basis will be Brayan Pena. Bryan Holaday has been called up to back up Pena. At least formally. Leyland said that who gets more playing time between the two of them will be based on a “gut feeling.”
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.