Veteran slugger Vladimir Guerrero agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract with the Orioles a whole ten days ago. On Wednesday, he will finally take his physical. If he passes, the O’s will officially introduce him on Friday.
That all comes from Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, who has also caught word that Guerrero will wear his old familiar No. 27 in Baltimore. He sported that number while with the Angels and Rangers.
The 36-year-old is expected to serve as Baltimore’s primary designated hitter this season, moving Luke Scott to left field and Felix Pie to a backup role.
Vlad finished with a strong .300/.345/.496 batting line, 29 home runs and 115 RBI over 152 games for the Rangers in 2010. His new deal with the O’s will pay him $5 million this year and $3 million in deferments.
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.