According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies and Cole Hamels are continuing extension talks with just barely more than a week left to go before the trade deadling.
“They’re trying — actively trying,” a person with knowledge of the situation told CSNPhilly.com on Monday afternoon. “They’re making offers.”
Salisbury reports that the Phillies are willing to go to six years, though whether they’ve actually made an offer of that length is uncertain. Salisbury believes Hamels wants something close to the $24 million per season that Cliff Lee is earning on his five-year deal.
“I think it happens,” one plugged-in person told Salisbury. “But you never know until they all agree.”
One thing seems pretty sure; if the Phillies aren’t willing to go to $140 million over six years, another team will be this winter. A trade is likely if nothing is agreed to.
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.