In addition to adding outfielder Willy Taveras on a minor-league deal the Royals have also signed left-hander George Sherrill and right-hander Dan Wheeler to minor-league contracts, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Sherrill was once a very good left-handed setup man, but missed nearly all of this year following Tommy John elbow surgery and faces an uphill battle coming back at age 36.
Wheeler got knocked around in a dozen appearances for the Indians and in May the 34-year-old was outrighted to Triple-A, where he threw 43 innings with a 2.32 ERA and 30/13 K/BB ratio.
They’ll both try to win a middle relief gig during spring training.
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.