Detroit wasted no time in calling up Jim Johnson, adding him to the bullpen after just 4.2 innings in the minors following his release by Oakland.
Johnson made his Tigers debut Sunday against the Mariners, coming in to pitch the sixth inning trailing 4-0, and allowed three runs while recording two outs. (In fairness, he was also hurt by an error behind him.)
Johnson had a 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances for the A’s and allowed three runs in four Triple-A appearances, so aside from his pre-2014 track record as the Orioles’ closer there wasn’t much evidence that the 31-year-old right-hander was on the verge of turning things around.
He’s now allowed 36 runs in 41 innings this season.
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.