“Biggest balls in the game.”
– One baseball executive measures up White Sox general manager Ken Williams after his shocking trade for Jake Peavy on Friday.
“I’m kind of glad I didn’t throw a no-hitter. If I did that the first time, I’d have to live up to some high expectations.”
– Cliff Lee, after tossing a complete-game four-hitter in his Phillies debut against the Giants on Friday night.
“If Chipper (Jones) was a good teammate, he’d send his plane up here to get me.”
– Stranded in Baltimore, Adam LaRoche tries to find a way to Atlanta.
“It’s tough because I’m leaving my house. This was my house. It’s really tough.”
– Victor Martinez reacts after being traded by the team that signed him at the age of 17.
“It’s a helpless feeling knowing you
have no say in whatever goes on, to get here today and walk around not
knowing what’s going on.”
– The subject of trade rumors all week, Clay Buchholz was relieved to still be a Red Sox when the smoke cleared.
“We are not rebuilding. This is a team that, in my opinion, is not far away from being a good, solid baseball team.”
– Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo explains his line of thinking, however irrational it may be, for deciding to keep veterans Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham.
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.