David Robertson landed on the disabled list two weeks ago due to a Grade 1 strain of his left groin, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Yankees.
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Robertson declared himself “ready to go” after he pitched in an extended spring training game this morning. He faced five batters and allowed one hit while throwing 12 out of 16 pitches for strikes.
Robertson plans to play catch tomorrow and rest on Monday before being activated for Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox. Shawn Kelley has been serving as the closer recently, but he’ll return to a set-up role once Robertson is activated.
Robertson was off to a strong start as Mariano Rivera’s successor prior to the injury, tossing three scoreless innings while going 2-for-2 in save opportunities.
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.