If you looked washed up when you left baseball in 2008 and are now trying to make a comeback, the Rockies are your huckleberry:
The Rockies signed Payton, who didn’t play in the Majors in 2009, to a
Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring
Training, Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson announced
Gustafson also said the Rockies completed work on a Minor
League deal with catcher Paul Lo Duca, a former All-Star who also
didn’t play in 2009.
When asked about how they’d pay these two, Mr. Gustafson announced that there was plenty of money sitting in the team’s Lehman Brothers account.
Meanwhile, former Rockies outfielder and fellow 2008-idler Preston Wilson sits in a dark room somewhere wondering why he’s chopped liver all of a sudden.
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.
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.