Yankees ink Brendan Harris to minor league contract

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From beat writer Bryan Hoch of MLB.com comes word that the Yankees have inked infielder Brendan Harris to a minor league contract. He has been sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he will function as organizational depth for the Yanks.

Harris was designated for assignment by the Angels last Saturday then elected to test the free agent waters after passing through waivers without a claim.

The 32-year-old former fifth-round pick of the Cubs was batting .206/.252/.355 with four home runs and nine RBI in 44 games this season for Anaheim. He is a .256/.314/.381 career hitter in the major leagues.

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.