The Blue Jays announced after Thursday’s loss to the Red Sox that outfielder Melky Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis. The club will recall infielder Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo to take his place on the active roster.
Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a run scored Thursday and played the entire game in left field. He has been bothered by leg problems at various times this season, so it sounds like this could be a lingering injury. The 28-year-old is batting .278/.321/.362 with three home runs and 29 RBI through 78 games this season.
Kawasaki was demoted to Triple-A Buffalo earlier this week when Jose Reyes was activated from the disabled list, but his stint in the minors didn’t last long. The 32-year-old is hitting just .225 with a .662 OPS in 185 plate appearances this season, but he has quickly become a fan and clubhouse favorite. In fact, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons held a team meeting after Tuesday’s game to discuss Kawasaki’s demotion, which speaks to how well-liked he is among his teammates.
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.