Dating back to the offseason we’ve seemingly had around a million posts about the Nationals looking for left-handed relief help and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com says they’re interested in Rangers left-hander Neal Cotts.
Cotts is a 34-year-old impending free agent, so most people assumed the Rangers would move him before the July 31 trade deadline like they did with fellow veteran setup man Jason Frasor.
Ladson reports that the Rangers “don’t like what teams have been offering for Cotts,” but the problem is that now he’d have to get to the late-positioned Nationals on waivers in order for a trade to be possible in August.
Cotts had a career 4.63 ERA through 2009 and didn’t pitch in the majors at all from 2010-2012, but since joining the Rangers in 2013 he’s thrown 105 innings with a 2.14 ERA and 117/36 K/BB ratio.
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.