Last night the Blue Jays traded a player to be named later to the Rockies for catcher Miguel Olivo, and then less than two hours later they made Olivo a free agent by declining his $2.5 million option for 2011.
That may sound crazy considering Toronto had to pay Olivo a $500,000 buyout, but as Jordan Bastian of MLB.com explains it was actually a pretty shrewd move by general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Olivo is a Type B free agent, which means the Blue Jays are now in line to receive a compensatory draft pick if he declines their offer of arbitration and signs elsewhere. Assuming that happens, they basically just bought a draft pick between the first and second rounds for $500,000 and a PTBNL.
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.