Yesterday I said I’d be utterly shocked if David Ortiz wasn’t back with the Red Sox in 2013. I still will be, but Ken Rosenthal reports that there is at least some competition for Big Papi’s services:
The Boston Red Sox are not alone in their pursuit of designated hitter David Ortiz. The Texas Rangers also have expressed serious interest in Ortiz, major-league sources say, envisioning him as a left-handed hitting replacement for their own free agent, Josh Hamilton.
I find that more interesting for what it means for the Rangers — that they are possibly looking to add a big bat — than what it means for Ortiz and the Red Sox.
And I’m sure some people would be more concerned about what it means for Michael Young’s playing time. Not reasonable people, of course. Reasonable people would be quite happy about that.
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.