Padres manager Bud Black says outfielder Carlos Quentin could begin the season on the disabled list, Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego reports. Quentin had surgery to remove loose bodies from his right knee last September, but it is his other knee that is bothering him now. The outfielder recently said he has been suffering from soreness in his left knee.
That Quentin is less than 100 percent shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as he played in just 86 games in 2012 and 82 games last season. Even dating back to 2009, a five-year span, he has averaged only 103 games per season. When he has been healthy, he has been a productive hitter for the Padres, posting an .866 OPS in his two seasons with them.
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.