UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the White Sox have signed Ohman to a two-year, $4 million contract, pending a physical.
Friday, 7:10 PM: Jon Heyman of SI.com tweeted earlier this afternoon that reliever Will Ohman had narrowed his choice to three teams. We’re beginning to piece this thing together.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are not one of the three finalists mentioned by Heyman. Meanwhile, a source tells him that the White Sox are considered the favorites to sign him. Ohman is reportedly “close” to making a decision, but a deal is not yet completed.
Ohman, 33, posted a 3.21 ERA and 43/23 K/BB ratio over 42 innings between the Orioles and Marlins last season. Largely used as a LOOGY-type during his career, he held left-handed batters to a meager .229/.323/.313 batting line and 636 OPS over 99 plate appearances in 2010.
This wouldn’t be a significant signing on the surface, but the addition of Ohman, another left-hander, could mean that the White Sox would push Matt Thornton to the closer role, bumping Chris Sale to the starting rotation. Just speculation for now, but it’s at least something to ponder on a slow Friday.
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.