Brewers shortstop Jean Segura flew home to the Dominican Republic last week — a couple of days before the All-Star break — after his nine-month-old son Janniel passed away suddenly from an illness. It’s obviously a terrible tragedy and the Brewers are going to give him all the time he needs to mourn, but Segura must be shifted from the bereavement list to the restricted list if he doesn’t return on Friday and so the club is trying to figure out some logistics.
However, reaching Segura is proving difficult.
“I’ve made phone calls today to try to make contact with him,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Wednesday afternoon. “I haven’t been able to make contact at this time. I’m hoping to find out today. We’ve left messages but we haven’t heard back. We just don’t know right now. … There are a lot of unknowns here. Whatever Jean decides, we will support him. And we know his teammates will be there for him, too.”
Keep the Segura family in your thoughts.
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.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”