The Yankees aren’t going to bid on Hiroki Kuroda

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Ever since Hiroki Kuroda came off the notion of playing of the Dodgers or no one else — and that he’d be willing to take a one-year deal someplace — it has been widely speculated that the Yankees would be in on that action.  It just makes so much sense. They could use a good starter. Neither side wants a big commitment. It’s like a friends with benefits thing or something.

But not so fast says Wally Matthews of ESPN New York. He hears from sources that the Yankees don’t want to incur any more luxury tax overages and thus won’t bid on Kuroda. Rather, to the extent they have any interest, it’s phony:

Assuming the person is telling me the truth – and I am — any Yankee “interest” in Kuroda is probably designed to drive up the price for the Red Sox.

Know what’s gonna be cute? When the Red Sox are still playing these little cold war games while the Rangers and Angels are cruising to the best records in the American League. It’ll be like England and France arguing over Brittany while the Soviets and the Americans send people into outer space.

OK, maybe that’s overstating it. I’m just bored today and there’s no Phillies news with which to troll anyone. Trolling Yankees and Red Sox fans is a way, way, way distant second place, but it’ll have to do for now.

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.