Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia will return to the team and start against the Braves at home on Saturday, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Garcia was sidelined late in spring training with inflammation in his left shoulder. He had undergone surgery to repair a partial tear of his labrum last May.
When Garcia — now 27 — has been healthy, he has been a productive member of the Cardinals’ starting rotation. Since 2010, when he became a featured hurler, Garcia has posted a 3.38 ERA with 429 strikeouts and 159 walks in 535 innings.
The Cardinals have been bitten by the injury bug lately. Joe Kelly suffered a hamstring injury and went on the disabled list. Kelly was replaced by Tyler Lyons in the rotation, but Lyons is now on the disabled list himself, dealing with a sore shoulder. Garcia will return and attempt to restore stability to the rotation.
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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.