The Mets and Jason Bay reach an agreement to make him a free agent

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Wow, we weren’t expecting this:

Bay was under contract through 2013, for which the Mets were going to be on the hook for $16 million. He has to be taking a discount to be let out of the deal now, though, right?  Nope:

The deferment does help the Mets, but it’s not like they got any kind of a super bargain. They are saved a roster spot, however, and Terry Collins will not be able to do silly things like, say, put Jason Bay in the lineup.

This is not a common thing at all. Certainly speaks to a team who wanted out from under and a player who simply wanted out.  Kudos to the two sides working together to give each other what they want.

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.