The Diamondbacks signed Cody Ross to a three-year, $26 million free agent contract on Saturday afternoon and now have to trade an outfielder to free up enough playing time for him. Justin Upton is apparently still on the block, but it could be Jason Kubel who ultimately winds up packing his bags.
CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the White Sox “have talked about” Kubel, who slugged 30 home runs alongside an .833 OPS for Arizona in 2012.
The 30-year-old signed a two-year, $15 million contract last offseason. He’s owed $7.5 million in 2013 and carries a $7.5 million club option for 2014.
If Kubel is indeed dealt, the D’Backs would start Ross in left, Upton in right and Adam Eaton in center.
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.