If the recent comments of his agent and his general manager weren’t enough, today Adrian Gonzalez himself put to rest the notion that he’d be giving anyone a hometown discount to stay with the Padres. Here he is on a radio show today:
“In essence, if I take what you call a San Diego discount then I’m affecting their market. I’m affecting what they are going to make. It’s a lot like real estate. That’s the reason why. The way the game of baseball is set up, we have to protect each other. We have to do what’s best for each other.”
Really, the only hope there has ever been that the Padres could keep Gonzalez was that he’d want to stay near his home. These comments make it clear that Gonzalez isn’t going to undercut current and future free agents in order to do that. Union solidarity is something you may or may not agree with, but it’s obviously important to Gonzalez.
As it is now, the only ones who are going to be undercut are the Brewers, who are going to find it most difficult to trade Prince Fielder when Gonzalez is cheaper and better trade bait at the same position.
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.