On Twitter, ESPN’s Buster Olney says that the Royals have talked about pursuing Athletics starter Brett Anderson. As Ervin Santana is seeking more than $100 million in free agency, the Royals are looking elsewhere for their starting rotation needs.
The Athletics exercised the $8 million option on Anderson’s contract for the 2014 season. He has one more option worth $12 million for 2015 as well, so he is effectively under team control for two more years if they so desire.
The Royals, who finished at 86-76, just 5.5 games out of the second Wild Card in the American League, will be gearing up for another run in 2014 and Anderson would go along way towards solidifying a rotation led by James Shields.
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.