UPDATE: Several teams in on Japanese left-hander

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Sunday: Roch Kubatko of MASN hears that Takahashi has rejected offers from the Mets and Orioles.  Scratch two more teams off the list.

Saturday, 6:09pm: Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets that the Giants are assuming Takahashi will accept a minor league offer elsewhere.

Saturday, 2:39 pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets
that the Mets, Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers, Pirates and Padres are all
“considering” Japanese left-hander Hisanori Takahashi. “Considering”
can mean a lot of things, but earlier this week, Patrick Newman of NPB
Tracker passed along a Japanese media report which mentioned that the
Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers and Padres had all offered him minor league contracts. Heyman expects him to choose a team soon.

Takahashi,
who turns 35 in April, was 79-66 with a 3.70 ERA in 245 career games
with the Yomiuri Giants. The soft-tossing lefty projects as reliever in
the major leagues, and as far back as November, Newman suggested that he would be a good fit in the National League West. Sounds like he could be right on the money.

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.