Looking for an update on the negotiations between the Reds and manager Dusty Baker? Here it is.
Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday evening that the sides are “very close” on a two-year extension and that a deal should be finalized before the end of the regular season.
“We’re close,” Baker said. “Very close. We’ve been close for a while.”
Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News reported earlier today that a three-year deal was being discussed, which still may be the case if options are included.
Baker led the Reds to their first playoff appearance and first National League Central title in 15 years this season and is about to reap the reward. That reward being job security.
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.