Just add ’em to the list:
They may be focused on pitchers, but Upton is not the first outfielder the O’s have been linked to this offseason. Just a couple of days ago they, as so many other teams who have asked about Upton, asked about his Arizona teammate Jason Kubel. They also inquired about Cody Ross, though that was obviously before Ross signed with Arizona. The O’s aren’t hung up on the Diamondbacks, right?
Every team, however, seems like they’d want Upton. My guess is that until Arizona gets slightly more realistic about what they can get for him, we’ll see a lot of these “[Team] called, but not really pushing hard” kind of reports.
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.