As expected, the Orioles announced that they are not offering arbitration to free agent Vladimir Guerrero.
Guerrero is coming off a career-worst season at age 36, so odds are he would have simply accepted an arbitration offer and locked the Orioles into a one-year deal paying him at least $8 million.
Baltimore understandably didn’t want to risk that for the slim chance he’d turn down arbitration and allow them to get a compensatory draft pick in return for his signing elsewhere.
They also declined to offer arbitration to Cesar Izturis, who earned $1.5 million while missing all but 18 games this year and will likely be looking for a bench job.
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.