If the Phillies get Pence, it’ll be because they overpaid for him

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Every trade deadline there’s a guy whose name I get tired of typing and this year it’s Hunter Pence.  I thought it would be Beltran, but that was over rather painlessly. But Pence, yeah, I really am getting tired of typing it.

Anyway, Jon Heyman has an update on the Pence-to-Philly chatter.  You’ll recall that the Phillies were trying to swing a deal involving prospects Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton.  Heyman says, however, that the Astros have an “unreasonable” asking price.  In a later tweet he said that if the Phillies threw Domonic Brown that a deal could get done, so presumably that’s the benchmark for unreasonability.

We probably have three different threads going with Hunter Pence talk right now, but it’s probably worth noting once again that Brown plus prospects seems like a really steep price for Pence. It’d be one thing if the Phillies were fighting for their playoff life or something, but they could stand completely pat and cruise at the moment, making paying such a price too great.

Ruben Amaro is sharp. He has to know this.  I almost wonder if he’s just trying to sucker another team like Atlanta into paying too much for Pence.  Of if he has some crazy kung-fu move planned that has him ending up with, like, a reincarnated Eddie Matthews in the deal somehow.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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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.