Zack Greinke throws first bullpener since breaking rib

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Brewers starter Zack Greinke took his first big step toward returning from a rib fracture on Thursday afternoon at Miller Park.

According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the right-hander stepped atop a mound and fired off around 30 pitches, reporting no abnormal pain or discomfort in the area of his cracked rib.

The Brewers are probably going to ask Greinke to throw bullpen sessions and simulated games over the next 10-14 days before clearing him for a minor league rehab assignment.

“He’s been really throwing the ball well,” said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. “Once his arm is built up and strong, then you can push him.”

The hope is that Greinke will be ready to make regular major league starts by the first week of May.

Report: Yankees close to signing Gio González to minor league deal

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are close to signing starter Gio González. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the deal is of the minor league variety that will pay González $3 million if he makes the major league roster.

González, 33, made 27 starts for the Nationals before being sent to the Brewers ahead of the now-defunct August 31 waiver trade deadline. In aggregate, González went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 148/80 K/BB ratio in 171 innings. He was solid in his five starts with the Brewers, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

Neither Luis Severino nor CC Sabathia will be ready for the start of the season, so González will add some immediate depth at the back of the Yankees’ rotation. Sabathia will likely return before Severino. When that happens, González may be pushed out of the rotation.