The Indians remain in the market for offensive help after acquiring Kosuke Fukudome and they’re making progress on talks with the Padres regarding Ryan Ludwick, says ESPN.com’s Buster Olney.
It’d be Ludwick’s second stint in Cleveland, and the hope is that it’d go better than his first; unable to establish himself because of knee problems, he hit .247/.305/.467 with 13 homers in 227 at-bats for the Indians from 2004-06.
Ludwick has hit .238/.301/.372 for the Padres this season, but it does come with 62 RBI in 374 at-bats. He’s been somewhat better outside of Petco Park, hitting .258/.300/.389 with six homers in 190 at-bats.
Olney tweeted that there’s a “good chance” a deal will be struck. Ludwick is a free agent at season’s end and the Padres might not want to risk offering him arbitration anyway, so the return shouldn’t be too significant.
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.