Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that free agent right-hander Chad Gaudin is drawing interest from “about six teams” and is expected to sign soon. No word on which teams are in the mix at this time, but we heard back in December that the Astros were interested.
The owner of a 4.44 career ERA, Gaudin was a pleasant surprise with the Giants last season, posting a 3.06 ERA and 88/40 K/BB ratio in 97 innings over 12 starts and 18 relief appearances. He was placed on the disabled list in mid-August due to carpal tunnel syndrome and failed to return before the end of the year.
Assuming Gaudin is back to full health, he should fit somewhere in a swingman role. He’ll turn 31 in March.
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.