Marlins add reliever Chad Qualls on minor league contract

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have signed right-handed reliever Chad Qualls to a minor league contract. The deal includes a spring training invite.

Qualls, 34, posted a 5.33 ERA and 27/14 K/BB ratio over 52 1/3 innings last season between the Phillies, Yankees and Pirates. He still induces plenty of grounders, but his strikeout rate has declined in four consecutive seasons.

There isn’t much upside to be had, but with little experience in the Marlins’ bullpen beyond Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn, Qualls should be in fine position for a roster spot if he has a solid spring.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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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.