Today is apparently the day to get good injury news on young pitchers. First the Royals announced that Yordano Ventura may miss just one start with an elbow injury and now the Mets announced that prospect Noah Syndergaard has no structural damage in his sore elbow.
Syndergaard was placed on the Triple-A disabled list Monday and underwent an MRI exam, but according to general manager Sandy Alderson: “Everything appears to be OK. Hopefully, this is a short-term disablement.”
Before being shut down Syndergaard showed a lot of promise at Triple-A as one of the Pacific Coast League’s youngest players at age 21, striking out 57 batters in 54 innings. He’s considered one of the top handful of pitching prospects in baseball and, if healthy, on track to make his big-league debut at some point in the second half.
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.