While this won’t have the wide-ranging ramifications of Matt Harvey’s partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that Jeremy Hefner will undergo Tommy John surgery.
Hefner was diagnosed with a partially-torn medial collateral ligament in his elbow earlier this month. Tommy John surgery was discussed as a possibility at the time, but he was waiting to see Dr. James Andrews before deciding on a course of action. However, it’s now clear that he’ll be sidelined for most or all of the 2014 season, further challenging the team’s pitching depth.
Hefner did a respectable job in the Mets’ rotation this season, posting a 4.34 ERA and 99/37 K/BB ratio over 130 2/3 innings.
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.