Anaheim’s spending spree continues.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Angels have agreed to a four-year contract extension with second baseman Howie Kendrick. The deal will cover his final year of arbitration-eligibility and his first three years of free agency.
Kendrick posted career-bests across the board in 2011, batting .285/.338/.464 with 18 home runs, 63 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 583 plate appearances. He’s also become an elite defender at second base, with some of the best range in the bigs.
Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. Kendrick made $3.3 million last year.
UPDATE, 9:39 PM: Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register has confirmed Rosenthal’s report, and says the money involved is “to be announced.” Look for details to be leaked within the next few days.
UPDATE, 10:25 PM: USA Today’s Bob Nightengale says the extension is worth $33.5 million.
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.