Yankees left-hander Cesar Cabral had an eventful Friday night. And not in a good way.
Cabral faced six batters in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Rays last night and failed to retire any of them. After replacing Adam Warren, he gave up a single to Ben Zobrist before throwing a wild pitch and giving up an RBI single to Brandon Guyer. He then Evan Longoria and James Loney before serving up a two-run single to Wil Myers. Finally, he hit Logan Forsythe in the back with a pitch before being ejected by home plate umpire Joe West. Yes, he hit three batters in one inning.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out to defend his player, which makes sense since it was clear Cabral wasn’t throwing at anybody intentionally. But he was all over the place and could have hurt someone if he was allowed to continue. The Yankees ended up having to use Shawn Kelley despite being down six runs, so you can understand Girardi’s frustration with the situation, but West did the right thing here.
If Cabral’s performance and ejection wasn’t bad enough, he was designated for assignment by the Yankees after the game. Matt Daley, a 31-year-old right-hander, has been called up to take his place on the active roster.
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.