Mauro Gomez, who was claimed off waivers by the Nationals from the Blue Jays in September, has been released so that he can sign with a Japanese team.
Gomez played 37 games for the Red Sox in 2012, hitting .275 with a .746 OPS as a first baseman/third baseman, and at age 29 has logged nearly 1,500 plate appearances at Triple-A.
His power numbers in the minors have always been impressive and it’s possible he could have worked his way into a bench gig for 2014, but Japan no doubt offers a lot more job security and a bigger pay check after a decade in the minors.
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.