Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Yoenis Cespedes has been scratched from the A’s starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale with the Rangers because of soreness in his right shoulder. Nate Freiman will DH for Oakland instead.
Cespedes banged his shoulder recently on a diving catch. The hope is he’ll be fine with a day of rest.
The A’s have won the first two games of this weekend series in Texas and will be looking to move 6 1/2 games ahead of the Rangers in the American League West standings on Sunday afternoon.
Cespedes is hitting .373/.407/.627 with 13 RBI in 54 plate appearances this month.
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.