Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Yasiel Puig is not in the Dodgers’ starting lineup for Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Wrigley Field because of a left thumb contusion.
Puig suffered the injury Saturday while making a leaping catch against the brick and padding along the right field line. It’s not a serious concern and he should be available off the bench Sunday if needed.
The 22-year-old Cuban phenom is hitting .376 with a 1.029 OPS, 23 extra-base hits, seven stolen bases, 25 RBI and 40 runs scored through his first 53 major league games. The Dodgers are 37-16 since his June 3 promotion.
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.