Dan Haren’s ugly season continued this afternoon, as he failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Rockies and allowed six runs while recording 10 outs.
Haren actually struck out five and walked zero, but he served up his league-leading 19th homer of the season and now has a 6.15 ERA in 15 starts.
Haren also struggled for much of last season while pitching through back problems and combined during his last 33 starts–one full season, basically–he has a 5.49 ERA with 40 homers allowed in 182 innings.
This offseason Haren signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals in the hopes of getting healthy and returning to his old top-of-the-rotation ways, but at this point he might be in danger of losing his spot in the rotation.
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.