Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan has learned that the Tigers and Justin Verlander are negotiating around a five-year deal in the $75 million range. The holdup at the moment, Passan reports, is that Verlander wants a 6th year guaranteed. Presently, the team and the fireballer are poised for arbitration, where Verlander has requested $9.5 million, while the team is at $6.9 million.
Hard to figure that his deal would or should beat Felix Hernandez’s five-year, $78 million package — which is what would happen if Verlander gets his sixth year — but the Tigers have been known to go over and above what the market suggests on a given player.
And if they do give him more than King Felix, at least one writer will have their back.
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.