Clay Buchholz had a shaky first minor-league rehab start Saturday at Triple-A, allowing three runs in 4.2 innings, and today the Red Sox announced that he’ll make at least one more start in the minors before coming off the disabled list.
Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox want him stretched out to at least 90 pitches before returning from a knee injury that’s sidelined him since late May. He tossed 62 pitches before exiting mid-inning Saturday.
Buchholz struggled mightily before going on the DL, posting a 7.02 ERA in 10 starts after posting a 1.74 ERA in 16 starts last season. Arm strength will be key, but it’s impossible to know what to expect from the 29-year-old right-hander at this point.
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.