Andrew Albers made his big-league debut last season at age 28, reaching the majors after pitching independent ball as recently as 2010, but now the left-hander is headed to Korea.
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Albers has a tentative agreement to sign with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization. He’s currently on the 40-man roster, which means the Twins also agreed to let him go and may be getting some monetary compensation out of the deal.
Albers was named the Twins’ minor league pitcher of the year, but he was unlikely to be on the Opening Day roster and would be behind several higher-upside pitchers in line for call-ups.
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.