File this under: things we never would have guessed before the season began: the Indians just announced that they have signed Ryan Raburn to a two-year contract extension thru the 2015 season with a club option for 2016.
Raburn has one pretty darn well for a minor league signing with a camp-invite this past winter. He’s hitting .277 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 38 RBI in 66 games for a line of .277/.370/.565 and has played all over the diamond.
Those numbers wildly exceed his career numbers and aren’t at all likely to be sustainable, but I’m sure Cleveland is smart enough to figure that out. It would seem that they do see Raburn as a capable super-sub for the long haul, however. And there is a lot of value in that. $4.85 million worth of value in that in the Indians’ eyes, reports Paul Hoynes.
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.