Now that Masahiro Tanaka is off the market the other starting pitching dominoes can begin falling and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Brewers have agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with right-hander Matt Garza.
That’s quite a bit less than most projections pegged Garza for at the beginning of the offseason and basically the same as the four-year, $49 million deal Ricky Nolasco got from the Twins.
Garza, who was traded from the Cubs to the Rangers in July and won’t require forfeiting a draft pick to sign, threw 155 total innings with a 3.82 ERA and 136/42 K/BB ratio last season. He’s struggled to stay healthy in recent years, but has generally been a solid No. 2 starter and is still only 30 years old.
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.