Danny Espinosa lost his starting second base job to Anthony Rendon this past season and now he could be on the move. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Nationals are listening to offers on the 26-year-old infielder.
Espinosa attempted to play through wrist and shoulder injuries in 2013 while batting just .158/.193/.272 with three home runs and a ghastly 47/4 K/BB ratio through 44 games at the major league level. His struggles continued following a demotion to Triple-A Syracuse in June and the Nationals decided against bringing him back as a September call-up.
The Nationals traded Steve Lombardozzi to the Tigers in the Doug Fister deal last week, so Espinosa is currently projected to fill his utility infielder role. Of course, things could change if someone comes along with the right offer. While Espinosa has obvious issues with plate discipline, he doesn’t turn 27 until April and offers defensive versatility along with pop and speed. He could be a buy-low target for someone.
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.