Angels general manager shoots down rumored interest in Holliday

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General manager Tony Reagins has shot down a FOXSports.com report claiming that the Angels are among three AL teams seriously pursuing free agent Matt Holliday, saying: “He’s a talented player, but our focus is not on him right now.”
The assumption, of course, is that Reagins’ focus is on re-signing John Lackey and/or Chone Figgins after already locking up fellow free agent Bobby Abreu to a multi-year deal. “I know where both of them stand, but as free-agent players they have earned the right to see what their value is,” Reagins said.
Interestingly, the FOXSports.com report that Reagins responded to was the same Jon Paul Morosi article that I made note of yesterday. My attention stemmed from Morosi reporting that “the Yankees, who need a left fielder, are interested” in Holliday, which completely contradicted a report by Buster Olney of ESPN.com claiming that the Yankees “are not interested in signing Holliday” because “corner outfield is not a priority for them.”
Morosi suggested that Holliday was unlikely to re-sign with the Cardinals and would instead end up in the AL. He mentioned three AL teams as being heavily in the mix, but Olney disagreed with the Yankees’ inclusion on that list and the Angels’ general manager himself issued a denial about their interest. That leaves the Red Sox, which either means that Boston is now the most likely AL destination for Holliday or Morosi was just throwing a bunch of stuff out there to see what would stick.

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

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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

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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.