Albert Pujols reportedly turned down $275 million from the Marlins to take $254 million from the Angels and it turns out C.J. Wilson also opted against going to Miami for the most possible money.
Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the left-hander “easily” could have topped $100 million because the Marlins “would not let it go.”
Instead he inked a five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Angels, saying: “If it was about the money, I’d be a Florida Marlin.”
(It’s the Miami Marlins now, C.J., but whatever.)
Miami refusing to grant no-trade clauses to any player reportedly also played a factor in the Pujols discussions and may have been an issue for Wilson as well, but whatever the case squeezing the most possible money out of free agency apparently didn’t determine either player’s new home.
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.