Marc Carig of Newsday reports that Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has left his team, currently in Milwaukee for a four-game series to wrap up a ten-game road trip, to fly back to New York. He will undergo an MRI on his troublesome right elbow.
Matsuzaka allowed three runs in two innings of relief yesterday against the Brewers and has struggled tremendously dating back to late June, serving as a swingman. In four starts and two relief appearances since June 26, Matsuzaka has a 5.93 ERA with a 26/13 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings.
The 33-year-old right-hander has undergone Tommy John surgery before, back in 2011 when he was still with the Red Sox. Obviously, that scary thought has to be lingering in the back of GM Sandy Alderson’s mind.
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.