Over the weekend Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Orioles “have been in discussions” with unsigned free agent first baseman Kendrys Morales “at several points over the past few weeks.”
However, yesterday executive vice president Dan Duquette told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio that the Orioles haven’t talked to Morales since they signed Nelson Cruz in late February.
Based on Heyman’s wording and Duquette’s wording it seems obvious that one of them is, let’s say, being less than truthful, although in fairness it could simply be that Heyman was told incorrect information by Morales’ representatives–which happens to be Scott Boras–and Duquette is simply trying to deflect questions about the talks.
Announcement: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Monday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
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.