D'Backs hoping to lock up Miguel Montero

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montero catching.JPGAccording to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, the Diamondbacks have real interest in signing catcher Miguel Montero to a multi-year contract extension and may try to get something done sooner than later.

“He’s certainly a guy that we have a lot of faith in for the future,”
managing partner Ken Kendrick said Wednesday. “So, yeah, I think there’s potential opportunity to sign
him for more than just a single year.”

Montero, 26, made a major splash in 2009 with a .294/.355/.478 batting line, 16 homers and 59 RBI in just 425 at-bats.  He snatched Arizona’s starting catching gig from Chris Snyder and heads into the 2010 season squarely atop the depth chart.  Montero avoided arbitration this winter by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract and that number will only go up if he matches or improves upon his ’09 numbers this season.  It makes sense, then, to lock him into a contract that covers his remaining years of arbitration eligibility and perhaps a season or two of free agency.

As Craig pointed out last week, the Diamondbacks have also begun long-term discussions with third baseman Mark Reynolds and
outfielder Justin Upton.

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.