We learned last Friday that Joey Votto was dealing with a distal quadriceps strain in his left knee. Four days later, the Reds have yet to make a decision regarding a possible stint on the disabled list.
Reds manager Bryan Price told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer this afternoon that the team is content with playing short-handed for now:
“We haven’t made a decision. We’ve still got some really good, positive stuff coming out from his rehab and he’s gotten a lot of the soreness out of his knee,” Reds manager Bryan Price said before Monday’s game. “He’s working diligently on his strengthening. We’re not yet ready, or do we feel it necessary to make a decision right now. It’s really a day-to-day, pending situation.”
If Votto is placed on the disabled list, he would not be eligible to return until May 31. With Votto and Jay Bruce both sidelined, the Reds are going with the red-hot Devin Mesoraco as their cleanup hitter.
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.