Earlier today, D.J. Short told you about the reported interest between the Red Sox and starter Jon Lester in signing a multi-year contract extension. “Just how interested?” you ask. Two conversations interested, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
That’s a great deal of interest. As D.J. wrote, the extension could be in the $100 million range over five years. Considering the six-year, $105 million deal Homer Bailey signed with the Reds recently, that seems about right. Aside from atypical struggles in 2012, Lester has been dependable for the Red Sox. He finished the 2013 season with a 3.75 ERA in 213 1/3 innings.
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.