Rockies starter Roy Oswalt will begin his rehab on Tuesday with the Rockies’ Grand Junction rookie-league team, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The 35-year-old has been on the shelf since July 8 with a strained left hamstring. Prior to his injury, he compiled a 7.64 ERA over four starts spanning 17.2 innings.
The Rockies signed Oswalt to a Minor League deal on May 2 with a Major League salary of $2.3 million. Their hope is that Oswalt can use the remainder of this season and the off-season to recover and compete for a rotation spot next spring. Manager Walt Weiss was quoted in the Saunders column as saying, “We still think he can perform. I know his numbers aren’t what he would like them to be, but there is still a lot left.”
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.