The Athletics have cast off players like crazy this winter and look to have something of a talent deficiency. But if you go to the movies, you know exactly how a team like the Athletics solves this problem: they dress up as a British nanny to get closer to their kids and, in the process, win back the love of their ex-wife and learn a little something about themselves.
What, you were expecting “Moneyball?” Pfft. That stuff don’t work.
Anyway, they’re also willing to consider almost anyone as long as they’re cheap and as long as they could maybe hit the ball. That describes Manny Ramirez pretty well, and A’s owner Lew Wolff wouldn’t have any problem with his team taking a chance on Manny. From Jon Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I really don’t see any non-baseball reason for not having him. I wouldn’t want to not have a player because he made a mistake and paid the price for it, but that’s really up to (general manager) Billy (Beane).”
Almost zero cost and a potentially half-decent reward if Ramirez could even manage to be a shadow of his former self. It’s at least worth bringing the guy to camp, no? It’s the A’s we’re talking about here.
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.