According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Astros will place reliever Matt Albers on the paternity leave list prior to tomorrow’s game against the Blue Jays. Josh Zeid will be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace him on the active roster.
Albers and his wife are expecting their first child. The 31-year-old right-hander is permitted to be away from the team for 24-72 hours, so he should be back later this week.
Albers, a Houston native, joined the Astros over the winter on a one-year, $2.45 million contract. He has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks thus far.
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.