Jonathan Albaladejo has signed a one-year, $950,000 contract with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League, according to the Associated Press.
Albaladejo was released by the Yankees earlier this month after he informed the team about his plans to play in Japan.
The 28-year-old right-hander originally came over from the Nationals in the Tyler Clippard trade in December of 2007. He posted a 4.70 ERA in 49 relief appearances with the Yankees, including a 3.97 ERA and 8/8 K/BB ratio over 11 1/3 innings at the big league level this past season. Albaladejo spent most of the year as the closer with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, posting a 1.42 ERA, 43 saves and an 82/18 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.
He probably deserved better with the Bombers, especially during his transformation this past season, but some success in Japan should afford him another opportunity in the big leagues.
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.