Duke right-hander Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays have agreed to a $1.8 million deal that’s the exact slot amount for the No. 22 overall pick, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America.
Baseball America ranked Stroman as the 10th-best player in the draft and ESPN.com rated him 17th, and he’s a very intriguing prospect because his mid-90s fastball comes from a 5-foot-9, 185-pound frame.
He started at Duke and put up huge strikeout totals, but the Blue Jays may be tempted to move him to the bullpen and if that happens Stroman could reach the majors in a hurry.
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.