Cardinals expected to aggressively pursue Juan Uribe

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That’s the word from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who writes that the Cardinals could use Juan Uribe at third base or shortstop.

Uribe, who turns 32 in March, batted .248/.310/.440 with 24 homers and 85 RBI this past season. And though he had a lousy .149 batting average during the playoffs, he also had his fair share of big hits, which will probably boost his value this winter.

If Uribe signs with St. Louis, I could see him being used in a similar role as he was in San Francisco. The Cardinals still hope David Freese can be their everyday third baseman eventually, but he is a question mark after undergoing procedures on both of his ankles late in the season. Uribe could function as insurance at the hot corner while also stepping in for Brendan Ryan at shortstop and Skip Schumaker at second.

Uribe isn’t the only possible solution, though. According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Tony La Russa and a front-office faction” have long pushed for the addition of Miguel Tejada, who is also a free agent this winter. The 36-year-old batted .269/.312/.381 with 15 homers and 71 RBI between the Orioles and Padres this past season, playing both third base and shortstop.

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.