Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury diagnosed with a compression fracture in his foot

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Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot, reports MLB.com’s Ian Browne. Ellsbury hasn’t played since his 3-for-6 game against the Yankees on Thursday, during which he fouled a ball off his foot. The Red Sox expect their speedy outfielder back before the end of the season.

Dustin Pedroia suffered a similar, albeit worse, injury. Via Alex Speier of WEEI:

Given that Ellsbury was able to play on his foot after suffering the fracture to his navicular bone, it would appear he is in a separate category of injury from teammate Dustin Pedroia, whose final three months were largely erased by a more severe navicular fracture.

“I talked to him when he did it. He was asking me about it, because it’s kind of the same area. I just told him, when I did mine, I couldn’t walk right away. So if something’s wrong, it’s a good sign that you were able to go run and do things,” said Pedroia. “We’ve got to get him better. He’s a huge part of what we do.”

Ellsbury has had a very productive season. Along with great defense, he leads the American League with 52 stolen bases and is a point under .300 in batting average. He is expected to be among the most highly-pursued free agents during the off-season.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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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.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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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.