We saw one waiver trade earlier today, with the Cubs sending outfielder David DeJesus to the Nationals for a player to be named later, but there could be more wheeling and dealing in the days ahead.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Angels have placed shortstop Erick Aybar and left-hander Jason Vargas on revocable waivers. The 48-hour waiver period expires on Wednesday.
Of course, just because a player is on waivers doesn’t mean they’ll be dealt. If they are claimed, the Angels can work out a trade with the claiming team, let them go, or pull them back. If they pass through waivers unclaimed, they can be traded to any team.
Aybar is owed $8.5 million per season through 2016 while Vargas is due to become a free agent following the season. We heard last month that the Cardinals had talked to the Angels about Aybar.
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.