The Diamondbacks essentially acquired reliever Heath Bell and infielder Cliff Pennington for outfielder Chris Young on Saturday. And FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal thinks they’re not done dealing:
I’ll believe Justin Upton will be a Diamondback in 2013 when I see him in an Arizona uniform on Opening Day.
Rosenthal envisions Jason Kubel, Adam Eaton and Gerardo Parra making up the D’Backs starting outfield in 2013 and Upton being used to fetch a starting pitcher or a long-term answer at shortstop. “Saturday was but a means to an end,” Rosenthal writes.
Upton posted a disappointing .280/.355/.430 batting line with 17 home runs and 67 RBI in 150 games this summer for Arizona. The 25-year-old right fielder is owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons.
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.