Via beat writer Dan Hayes at CSNChicago.com:
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Nate Jones has been prescribed butt rest over bed rest.
Per the training staff, the White Sox reliever has been restricted from any baseball activity for three or four days as he rests a gluteal strain that has bothered him for more than a week.
Jones doesn’t expect the injury to affect his status for the start of the regular season. The 28-year-old right-hander has a cool 3.31 career ERA and 154 strikeouts in 149 2/3 major league innings, and he’s the current favorite for Chicago’s opening at closer.
“We’ve got time to fix it and let it calm down, let it settle down,” Jones told CSNChicago.com on Sunday morning. “Once I get back out there, I’m still going to compete and attack and go after that job just like everybody else. … I believe it’s nothing big. Just staying ahead of it, let it calm down.”
The White Sox traded Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks in mid-December.
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.