The Angels beefed up their offense in a big way this week, signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million free agent contract. Now they’re looking to further address their starting rotation needs.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, Anaheim’s decision-makers have “been in contact” with the Tigers about a potential trade for right-handed starter Rick Porcello. Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos would seem to fit as a trade piece, but Knobler says that particular swap is not close to happening because the Halos would much rather move Kendrys Morales.
Morales, strictly a designated hitter and first baseman, obviously isn’t a fit in Detroit.
Porcello posted a 4.59 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 107/44 K/BB ratio in 176 1/3 innings this past summer for the Tigers. The 23-year-old former first-round pick owns a 4.55 career ERA through four MLB seasons.
The Padres and Pirates have also been mentioned as possible landing spots for Porcello.
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.