Athletics starter A.J. Griffin was shut down for three weeks during spring training in mid-March with flexor tendinitis in his right elbow. Initially, the Athletics thought they’d dodged a bullet, but a source told CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich that the right-hander will indeed undergo Tommy John surgery. Susan Slusser reports that assistant GM David Forst has refuted Stiglich’s report.
In the event that Griffin would need the surgery, he would join teammate Jarrod Parker as A’s pitchers to have undergone the procedure. Parker had his operation performed on March 25. It typically takes between a year and a year and a half for a pitcher to recover from Tommy John surgery, so Griffin wouldn’t be back until this time next season, if not later.
In 200 innings over 32 starts last season, Griffin posted a 3.83 ERA but was not on the team’s playoff roster in the ALDS against the Tigers.
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.