Luke Scott and the Rays have finalized their one-year deal.
He’ll get $5 million in 2012 and the contract also includes a $6 million team option or $1 million buyout for 2013, which officially makes it a one-year, $6 million deal. There are also some undisclosed incentives built in that could raise the maximum value to $13 million for two years.
Shoulder problems that eventually required surgery limited him to just 64 ineffective games last season, but Scott hit .284 with 27 homers and a .902 OPS in 2010 and carries a very solid .843 career OPS.
He’s a good bounce-back candidate and if healthy would provide a much-needed boost to the middle of the Rays’ lineup, but $6 million in guaranteed money isn’t a particularly huge bargain for a 33-year-old first baseman/designated hitter who won’t be cleared to play the outfield until at least May or June.
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.