Max Scherzer open to extension, but won’t negotiate during season

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There’s been lots of speculation about the Tigers trading Max Scherzer before he hits free agency next offseason and he recently avoided arbitration by signing for $15.25 million in his final season of eligibility.

Today the reigning Cy Young winner told Jason Beck of MLB.com that he’s open to a contract extension with the Tigers and “hopes they can get something done by spring training.” Scherzer even called himself “optimistic” about reaching an agreement, but also added that he will not negotiate once the season begins.

Assuming that he stays healthy before hitting the open market at age 30 it’s hard to imagine Scherzer not approaching $150 million and it’s almost as hard to imagine agent Scott Boras not pushing him to at least test free agency even if he wants to remain in Detroit.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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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.