Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette passes along an interesting trade tidbit:
The Texas Rangers have inquired with the Pirates about trading for
starter Ian Snell, but the Pirates have engaged no team seriously in
such talks, largely because other teams value Snell as a reliever, and
the Pirates will want a starter’s worth in return.
Snell is 1-7 with a 5.25 ERA after going 7-12 with a 5.42 ERA last
season, giving him a 4.78 ERA in 114 career starts, so the Pirates
probably shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for another team to give
them “a starter’s worth in return.” With that said, his track record
suggests that Snell could be a pretty effective reliever.
Focusing on his fastball-slider combo while ditching his changeup
would help Snell given the lack of success that he’s had with his third
pitch over the years and his shaky command would play better out of the
bullpen. Beyond that, he’s allowed a .745 OPS against righties compared
to an .880 OPS against lefties during his career.
If the Pirates don’t want to trade the 27-year-old right-hander,
maybe they should at least listen to what the other teams are saying
about Snell’s ideal role.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.