UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com was told by sources that the Giants and Affeldt have reached agreement on a new contract. As mentioned earlier, it’s expected to be about $18 million over three years.
3:45 PM: Last week Jeremy Affeldt and the Giants were said to be close to a three-year contract and now both Buster Olney of ESPN.com and Bob Nightengale of USA Today report that the reliever’s deal is expected to be worth $18 million.
Affeldt just finished a three-year, $14 million deal, so he gets a nice 29 percent raise after throwing 175 innings with a 3.09 ERA during the previous contract.
Signing a setup man for three years and $6 million per season through age 36 is a pretty steep price to pay, but obviously the Giants love Affeldt and he’s consistently been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball since 2007.
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.