Dodgers considered “the favorites” to sign Zack Greinke

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It was reported earlier this month that free agent right-hander Zack Greinke is on the Dodgers’ list of desired offseason acquisitions. And his name is apparently pretty high up on that list, too.

An “industry insider” told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald this weekend that the Dodgers are being viewed as the favorites to sign Greinke, who is the top starter on the open market this winter.

Los Angeles’ payroll is already hovering near $200 million, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the club’s higher-ups. Brandon League scored a ridiculous three-year, $22.5 million contract in late October.

Greinke, 29, posted a 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 200/54 K/BB ratio in 212 1/3 innings this past season between the Brewers and Angels. He’s thought to be seeking an agreement worth close to $150 million.

The Rangers are also interested, and the Angels are expected to make a strong effort to re-sign him.

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.