Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have traded reliever Shawn Kelley to the Yankees for young outfielder Abraham Almonte.
Kelley was designated for assignment by the M’s last week to clear a 40-man roster spot for catcher Kelly Shoppach. The 28-year-old right-hander had a decent 3.25 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 45/15 K/BB ratio in 44 1/3 innings last season out of the Mariners’ bullpen and will presumably be in the running for a middle relief job this spring in Yankees camp.
Almonte, 23, batted .273/.347/.389 with four home runs and 32 stolen bases in 85 games last summer between rookie ball and Double-A Trenton.
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.