Dodgers uninterested in trading Billingsley for Halladay?

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billingsley2.jpgWhile Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was unwilling to mention anyone by name, he did attempt to defuse some of the Roy Halladay rumors in a conversation with the L.A. Times’ Dylan Hernandez on Monday:
“We would like to improve our pitching, especially starting pitching. I don’t believe we can subtract from it in order to improve it.”
It’s been assumed that Chad Billingsley was the bait the Dodgers were using in their pursuit of Halladay, but if that’s not the case, a deal seems especially unlikely. If Billingsley isn’t in play, then Clayton Kershaw certainly isn’t, and the Dodgers don’t have an elite pitching prospect with which to tempt the Jays.
A package involving outfielder Andrew Lambo, shortstop Dee Gordon and young right-handers James McDonald and Josh Lindblom would be impressive, but given their payroll concerns, a deal built around Billingsley would seem to make the most sense for the Dodgers.

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.