As some of you may have noticed already, today is the day that players and teams submit arbitration figures. We have seen a number of contracts get worked out right before the deadline, but there are a few notable players who filed today. We’ll touch on a couple of them here, beginning with last year’s American League MVP Josh Hamilton.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reported just a short while ago that Hamilton filed for $12 million and the Rangers countered with $8.7 million.
That sounds like a pretty big gulf at the moment, but if the two sides are able to avoid an arbitration hearing, as many expect them to do, Hamilton’s salary for 2011 should be somewhere around the midpoint of $10.35 million.
Hamilton made $3.25 million last season while batting .359/.411/.633 with 32 home runs, 100 RBI and a league-leading 1.044 OPS over 133 games.
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.