Joel Sherman reports that while the Mets have engaged in conversations with the Cubs about Ted Lilly, it’s now “very doubtful” that they’ll be able to do a deal for him. The sticking point: the Mets don’t want to pay the $4 million or so he’s owed for the rest of the year plus give up prospects for him.
Moreover, Sherman reports, there is no chance they can get the other pitcher about whom they’ve been inquiring — Brett Myers — because the Astros are showing no sign of wanting to move him. In this the Astros are apparently continuing to hold the rather confusing belief that they’ll have Brett Myers next season. There’s a mutual option for $8 million bucks, but with the kind of season Myers is having it certainly seems like he could land a multi-year deal someplace, so why would he stay in Houston?
In any event, time is not on the Mets’ side. After last night’s demoralizing loss, they stand 7.5 back in the East and 6.5 back in the Wild Card with five teams ahead of them. With Philly improving and Atlanta continuing to play good baseball, it’s hard to see how New York can make any headway absent landing a big fish.
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.