Rangers president Nolan Ryan said last week that the club was going to make it a priority to work out a contract extension with general manager Jon Daniels before spring training. It sounds like they are going to make good on that promise.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reported last night that the Rangers are talking to Daniels about an extension, a report which was confirmed by Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas this morning.
Daniels, who has been the general manager since 2005, has one year remaining on his current contract. There were some tiny rumblings that Daniels was going to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract in order to interview for the Mets general manager job, but that possibility was rendered moot once the Rangers played deep into October. Considering that the Mets could be on the brink of a change in ownership themselves, Daniels is better off staying put, anyway.
The Rangers still have some other issues to resolve prior to spring training, namely the contract situation with the arbitration-eligible Josh Hamilton, but an extension for Daniels seems like a foregone conclusion at this point.
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.