Yahoo!’s Tim Brown tweets that the Yankees are nearing a one-year deal with Andruw Jones. This after a weekend of reports that had the Yankees interested at one turn and balking at the next. Could go either way, really, but there’s a feeling of two steps forward, one step back to all of this, and that the Yankees are shuffling towards having Jones as their designated lefty-masher. He mashed to the tune of .256/.373./.558 against southpaws last year.
Overall he hit .230/.341/.486 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI for the White Sox last season. That’s good, but it’s not enough to get him a full-time look at the DH position with the Bombers thanks to Jorge Posada filling the slot. But between platooning at the corners, days off and injuries, you figure that New York can use Jones about as much as he should be used. Anything more and they’re probably pushing him past his limits.
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.