The National League Central-leading Brewers just made a pretty significant upgrade to their bullpen.
From Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com comes word that Milwaukee has acquired right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton in a waiver trade with the Reds. No word yet on Cincinnati’s return package.
Broxton owns a dominant 1.86 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 48 1/3 innings (51 appearances) this season. He is owed $9 million in 2015 with a $9 million mutual option (or $2 million buyout) for the 2016 campaign.
The 30-year-old will slide into a setup role behind Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez, who is second in the majors with 39 saves. Milwaukee currently owns a one-game lead over the Cardinals (and a two-game lead over the Pirates) in the NL Central standings.
The Reds have fallen to 8 1/2 games back and have now pushed a big chunk of change off their books.
UPDATE, 1:51 p.m. ET: MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy says the Reds will get two players to be named later.
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.