Rosenthal’s latest column reveals that the Diamondbacks “are discussing internally the possibility” of trading starters Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson. That sounds about two steps removed from something actually happening, but let’s talk about it anyway.
Haren would be a great pickup by a contender. Sure, he’s got a 5.56 ERA, but his K/9 ratio (9.2) and his K/BB (5.07) are just spiffy. Ground balls with eyes? A few too many dying quails? Maybe. Fact is, the guy is a freakin’ horse, having logged no fewer than 216 innings since coming over to Oakland in the Mark Mulder deal.
Jackson is obviously less of a prize. Electric when he’s on but frustratingly inconsistent, he has earned far more of his 6.03 ERA than Haren has. He’s a play for starting depth more than anything. And he could be a good one at that. After all, he was a part of the 2008 Rays rotation, so you can win with this guy.
I think the larger point to be taken from this is that the starting pitching pool at this year’s deadline — already pretty deep — is getting deeper.
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.