Along with reports this morning that the Orioles are still interested in Ervin Santana even after signing Ubaldo Jimenez, now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re also “intensifying their interest” in free agent first baseman Kendrys Morales.
Now that the Orioles have already lost their first-round draft pick to sign Jimenez the prospect of losing later draft picks for other free agents isn’t as costly. Their next draft pick to lose is 54th overall.
According to Connolly the switch-hitter is now willing to take a two-year deal–perhaps with an opt-out clause after this season–after previously wanting four or five years.
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.