Report: Dodgers moving closer to landing Ryan Dempster

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The Cubs and Dodgers are working on potential three-team scenarios to get Ryan Dempster to Los Angeles, sources tell CSNChicago’s David Kaplan.

It’s believed the Cubs asked for right-hander Zach Lee and then right-hander Allen Webster in negotiations with the Dodgers, but that the Dodgers thus far have been unwilling to budge. By involving a third term, perhaps the Dodgers could still get a young starter that would suit the Cubs’ needs while holding on to the organization’s top two prospects.

With Dempster, Matt Garza and Paul Maholm all involved in trade rumors, the Cubs’ priority is landing major league-ready starting pitching in deals. They had an agreement to get right-hander Randall Delgado from the Braves for Dempster, only to have that fall through with Dempster making Los Angeles his destination of choice.

9:00 p.m. EDT update: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Dodgers rejected the Cubs’ offer of Dempster for Webster. I think that was already assumed, but Heyman is the first to report it as fact.

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.