Sanity is apparently prevailing in Washington as the team that can’t afford to lose one of the biggest bats in the game — the Nats — and the player who is on record as saying that he really wants to stay in Washington — Adam Dunn — are working to a contract extension, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. It’s not imminent or anything, but Dunn says “We’re going to work something out, I think.”
Much — maybe too much — has been made of Dunn’s defensive liabilities, but there’s not a more reliable power hitter in baseball. Sure, with Stephen Strasburg out all next year it’s not like 2011 is going to be that big step toward competitiveness the Nats were probably banking on. But you can’t punt the year either, and having Dunn in the fold will be make the Nationals a much more respectable team than they otherwise would have been.
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.