Last time Johnny Cueto returned from the disabled list the Reds sent his rotation fill-in, Tony Cingrani, back to Triple-A, but this time around they’ve decided to keep the rookie left-hander around as a reliever.
“He fills what we need,” manager Dusty Baker told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “We need a power arm in the bullpen, and a left-hander.” Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall are both on the disabled list, so the Reds can certainly use the (temporary) late-inning bullpen help in front of Aroldis Chapman.
And it’s also tough to demote a guy for the second time when he has a 3.15 ERA and 46/10 K/BB ratio in 40 innings while holding opponents to a .207 batting average.
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.