Blue Jays see $10 million shortstop Hechavarria as 'the total package'

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Yesterday the Blue Jays signed Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10 million contract and today general manager Alex Anthopoulos gives a scouting report on the 21-year-old prospect:

The financial commitment speaks for itself. We are hoping that this is someone who can emerge and be a core piece for us. This is a significant signing. He’s the total package. He has very good range, above-average throwing arm and above-average defense. We absolutely believe he is going to stay at shortstop.

Just about everything I’ve seen written or said about Hechavarria suggests his bat has much more upside than his glove, so (if true) Anthopoulos saying that the Blue Jays believe he’ll be able to stick at shortstop is significant.
Anthopoulos added that Hechavarria will initially head to extended spring training before likely making his pro debut next month at Single-A and perhaps finishing the season at Double-A. He’s unlikely to make it to Toronto this year, although the GM said that hasn’t been ruled out. For now the Blue Jays have 33-year-old Alex Gonzalez as a place-holder shortstop and he’s off to a huge start.

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.