Cincinnati avoided arbitration with two players, signing outfielder Chris Heisey and reliever Alfredo Simon to one-year contracts.
Heisey gets $1.325 million, which is right around the midpoint of his $1.65 million request and the team’s $1.05 million counter. He hit .265 with .715 OPS in 375 plate appearances last season and figures to have another part-time role this year.
Simon threw 61 innings with a 2.66 ERA and 52/22 K/BB ratio for the Reds after they claimed him off waivers from the Orioles in early April. He’ll make less than $1 million in 2013.
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.