The Padres exercise their option on Adrian Gonzalez

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First the news: The Padres exercised 1B Adrian Gonzalez’s $5.5 million option for 2011. The only time Jed Hoyer had a decision easier than this was the time that guy asked him if he’d rather have delicious chocolate cake or a knee to the groin.  He probably decided on the Gonzalez option even quicker, actually. There will always be more cake, after all. A stud first baseman for that price doesn’t come around very often.

But that’s not really why I’m posting this. I’m posting it because Adrian Gonzalez represents everything that went wrong last offseason.

Beloved players with bargain contracts are supposed to be traded away before they get expensive. Or at least they’re supposed to be given the cold shoulder by their current club so as to ensure that the Yankees and Red Sox of the world signed them.  By keeping Gonzalez last year and teasing their fans with a season of high quality baseball and hope — hope! — until the very last day, the Padres disturbed the natural order of things.

Look San Diego: the other baseball writers and I have a lot of content in the can for these situations. We’re supposed to be writing the trade rumor stories now. By January we’re supposed to be writing the “well, the [Yankees/Red Sox] bought another title” column.  In March we’re supposed to bury you for your cheapness and complete lack of playoff chances.  On Opening Day we write about how to fix baseball so there’s actual parity in it instead of the usual hope and despair for all but the richest of the rich.  By holding on to Gonzalez last year and having the gall to contend, you screwed all of that up.

So, if you could, get back to the program, will ya?

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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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.