Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune has the goods:
ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Moore (sore left elbow) threw a simulated game Saturday before the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-2 win over the visiting New York Yankees and pronounced himself ready to rejoin the rotation later this week against the Angels.
Rays manager Joe Maddon watched that simulated game and agreed that Moore looked ready to go.
That would mean no minor league rehab start for the 24-year-old left-hander, who has been out since July 28 with left elbow discomfort. “I feel comfortable enough with where I’m at to think a bullpen is going to get me ready for a game in four days,” Moore told Mooney after his workout on Saturday.
Moore has a 3.41 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings this season.
The Rays are tied with the Red Sox in the American League East.
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.