Braves still trying to find a taker for Johnson

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The Braves are holding out hope that
they can find a taker for second baseman Kelly Johnson before tonight’s
non-tender deadline,
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports.



Johnson, 27, batted .224/.303/.389
with eight home runs and 29 RBI in 303 at-bats with the Braves in ’09,
losing his starting second base job to Martin Prado (.307/.358/.464).
He made $2.825 million last season, and figures to make between $2-3
million again next season.




Johnson was another player featured in my recent “Non-tender tango” series, and I see the Twins as a good fit if he’s cut loose later tonight.

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.