Today was a painful day for the Orioles. In addition to being swept by the Rays and losing third baseman Manny Machado due to a scary leg injury, Alexi Casilla was forced to exit after he collided head-first into Nick Markakis’ leg while attempting to make a diving catch in the seventh inning.
Casilla nearly made a remarkable catch on the play, but the ball popped out of his glove as a result of the collision. Despite laying on the ground for several moments and looking quite woozy, he finished the inning before leaving the game. According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Casilla will undergo a CT scan to determine whether he has a concussion. He’ll remain in Tampa Bay overnight rather than fly back to Baltimore with the rest of the team.
Casilla, 29, is batting .214/.268/.295 with one home run, 10 RBI, and nine stolen bases in 62 games this season.
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.