Indians outfielder Nick Swisher has not appeared in a game since June 15 due to soreness in his left shoulder. But he is apparently feeling much better.
From Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer comes word that Swisher is tentatively scheduled to return to the Indians’ starting lineup this Saturday against the Twins. He will take batting practice on Friday to be sure that his shoulder is sound.
Swisher is batting .237/.337/.402 with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 61 games this season for the Tribe. He signed a four-year, $56 million free agent contract in early January that also includes a $14 million vesting option for 2017.
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.