Would-be Yankee owner Steve Swindal now grooming prospects

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Steve Swindal, originally the designated successor to George Steinbrenner, was at Yankees camp Wednesday, watching his daughter sing the national anthem and talking about his current enterprise; he runs a camp for prospects in the Dominican Republic.

Swindal, former husband to Jennifer Steinbrenner, was supposed to to occupy the role currently held by Hal Steinbrenner. However, he was arrested for DUI in 2007 and divorced by his wife a month later. The Yankees then bought out his ownership stake, and George chose Hal as his successor.

Swindal now runs a camp with Abel Guerra, the Yankees’ former VP of international operations. In return for a portion of any future signing bonus, he houses, feeds, schools and trains prospects in the Dominican Republic. Rafael Perez, MLB’s director of Dominican operations, calls it “the nicest academy of any agent.”

The business probably doesn’t have such a promising future after MLB cracked down in foreign spending budgets in the CBA agreed to over the winter, but Swindal plans to keep at it.

“Hopefully we’ll have a couple guys go for a million dollars this year. We’re certainly projecting that. With the new CBA, I don’t know how it’s going to affect it,” Swindal said. “I know the talent is always going to be there, and somehow the clubs are going to find a way to get the talent. The country is just so full of baseball heritage and it just starts from birth with young people. it’s getting stronger.”

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.