Penny wanted out of the American League

Leave a comment

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins decided against claiming Brad Penny off waivers after they learned that he wanted to go back to the National League.
Instead of the Twins assuming Penny’s remaining contract and taking the Red Sox off the hook for about $1.2 million, he was released after clearing waivers and signed what basically amounts to a one-month, $75,000 deal with the Giants.
Minnesota reached out to Penny through Mike Redmond and Carl Pavano, who previously played with him in Florida, and received indications from both the 31-year-old right-hander and his agent that he’d rather avoid another American League team.
Penny spent the first nine years of his career in the NL, going 94-75 with a 4.06 ERA before posting a 5.61 ERA in 24 starts with the Red Sox. On one hand players dictating waiver claims and roster decisions isn’t such a great thing. On the other hand it’s tough to blame Penny for wanting to flee back to the NL after seeing John Smoltz do the same with (so far) lots of success.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
5 Comments

Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

Kent Horner/Getty Images
1 Comment

Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.