Royals sign Melky Cabrera to one-year, $1.25M contract

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Jeff Francoeur and Melky Caberera in the same outfield?  It’s like Christmas for snarky baseball bloggers.

From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that Cabrera has reached agreement with the Royals on a one-year, $1.25 million contract that includes $250,000 in performance-based incentives.

Cabrera was released by the Braves two months ago and drew very little interest on the open market this fall and winter.  He batted just .255/.317/.354 over 509 plate appearances for Atlanta in 2010 and had trouble covering ground in the outfield by the end of his tenure.

Most of Melky’s recent failures have to do with his poor level of conditioning.  That’s a mental thing, not a physical thing, and the Royals will have to hope that he decides to stay in shape and commit himself to his talents.

At $1.25 million, it’s not a terrible deal.  The Royals have to take chances to fill some holes.  With a farm system bursting in potential, maybe they won’t have to in the near future.  For now, though, it’s all aboard for guys with question marks.

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.