C.J. Wilson struggled before going on the disabled list in early July with a right ankle sprain, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register this afternoon that the left-hander is penciled in to make his return Saturday against the Rays.
Wilson, 33, owns a 4.33 ERA and 107/48 K/BB ratio in 116 1/3 innings over 19 starts this season. He had a 6.81 ERA over his final eight starts before hitting the DL with the ankle injury, but he recently told Fletcher that lost flexibility in his left hip contributed to his struggles and that he’s feeling “way better” now.
If Wilson is healthy again, that could be like an impact trade acquisition for the final two months of the regular season. At least that’s what the Angels have to be hoping, especially after tonight’s scare with Tyler Skaggs.
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.