Brett Tomko, on being designated for assignment by the Yankees:
I don’t think I got a fair shot. I pitched great in spring training
and didn’t make the team. I pitched great in the minors, got called up
and didn’t get much of a chance. I understand other guys are pitching
great. But it could have been different. I can’t see the point in
Obviously no one likes to be fired and I’m sure that Tomko wasn’t used
optimally by the Yankees, but the notion of “a fair shot” sort of goes
out the window when talking about a 36-year-old pitcher with nearly
1,800 career innings in the majors. Plus, who cares if someone “pitched
great in spring training” and “pitched great in the minors” if they’ve
posted a better-than-average ERA exactly once in the last dozen
Tomko has earned over $20 million despite being a mediocre back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever for his entire career,
the Yankees called him up in May and used him as a mop-up man for six
weeks, he allowed 12 runs in 21 innings to make him 7-21 with a 5.76
ERA over the past three seasons, and now they’re letting him go. “But
it could have been different” is just about the least accurate way to
describe the situation.
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.