It’s not just the Yankees: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels — now free from the burden of having to pay Carl Crawford! — are bidding on Cliff Lee.
There’s not a ton of context to this and it’s hard to tell if it’s serious interest or, like Boston’s, merely head games, but the Angels do have some money to spend. You figure Adrian Beltre is now their biggest target — and their roughly $100M offer to Crawford suggests that Beltre is more doable for them — but Lee wouldn’t be impossible if they’re sufficiently desperate.
In other Lee news, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rangers are sending a delegation to Little Rock today to meet with Cliff Lee and his agent, Darek Braunecker, who decamped Orlando yesterday. One wonders — based on what Nolan Ryan said last night — if this meeting will be a “we want to leave with you signed. Tell us what you want and we’ll do it now; if not, we’re out” kind of meeting.
The Yankees have to have this in the bag, though. With Boston adding $300 million in talent in the past four days, New York has to unleash a counter attack, right? Because this is war, and that’s what you do in a war.
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.