Jon Heyman reports that Ryan Madson are close to signing a deal. It would be for one year. Heyman says that Madson would become the Angels closer, and that Ernesto Frieri would set up. The financial terms are not yet known.
Madson missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In 2011 he posted a 2.37 ERA in 60 and two-thirds innings for Philly, saving 32 games. The Angels are taking a bit of a gamble on Madson by making him their closer — command often lags arm strength for members of the Tommy John Alumni Society — but with Frieri around, the risk is less than it might be for many teams.
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.