Ken Rosenthal spoke with Scott Boras about his newest client, Jayson Werth. Say, Scott, how are going to position your free agent to-be?
“He can play center field . . . He has the closing speed to play center . . . It makes your
team so different. Normally you get that production out of a corner
Forgetting, of course, that Werth is a corner outfielder. Sure, he can play center. But he has done so almost exclusively because he’s had to due to injuries to others, not because his team figured he was their centerfielder, let alone their big free-agent splash of a centerfielder. Dude has played 720 of nearly 6000 career innings there. He has never has played in center for the majority of his games in a season.
That doesn’t mean that some team won’t think about paying Werth as though he produces like he does as a centerfielder as opposed to a corner, which is where he’ll almost certainly play the majority of his games for the remainder of his career. Heck, Boras convinced the Mets that Oliver Perez was worth 3/$36M. Just don’t expect too many savvy teams to fall for it.
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.