A source tells Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that the Yankees have offered Russell Martin a one-year contract.
We know that the Red Sox and Blue Jays also have interest, while Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger reported Thursday that a “mystery team” offered a multi-year contract. If Martin signs a one-year deal with a club, he will remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next winter.
Feinsand wrote yesterday that the Red Sox appear to be Martin’s first choice, presumably because he feels he has a better chance to beat out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek for playing time than he would with Jesus Montero and Francisco Cervelli in New York.
Martin, who turns 28 in February, batted .285/.373/.433 from 2006-2008, but has a modest .249/.350/.330 batting line over the past two seasons. He’s also working his way back from a season-ending hip fracture.
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.