You guys aren’t going to believe this, but here’s some good news about an injured starting pitcher.
While Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported late last night that the Padres were fearful that right-hander Joe Wieland would require a second Tommy John surgery, general manager Josh Byrnes told Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego this evening that an MRI did not show damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
Byrnes declined to say exactly what the MRI showed, but it’s worth noting that Wieland suffered a stress reaction in his elbow and dealt with a triceps issue last year while rehabbing from his July 2012 Tommy John surgery. The Padres are expected to know more about his status in seven to 10 days, but it sounds like the worst-case scenario can be ruled out.
If there’s any team that deserves some good luck on the injury front for once, it’s the Padres.
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.