Link-O-Rama: Uggla expects to be traded by Marlins

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* Due a big raise this offseason via arbitration, Dan Uggla indicated yesterday that he expects the Marlins to trade him. Uggla isn’t much of a defender at second base, but the former Rule 5 pick has posted an OPS above .800 in each of his four seasons in Florida while going deep 27, 31, 32, and now 29 times.
* Rich Harden lasted just three innings in yesterday’s start and is now the latest big-name pitcher to be shut down, perhaps for the remainder of the season. Harden may end up hitting the open market if the Cubs decline to offer him arbitration this winter.
* Struggling for the first time this season, Padres closer Heath Bell decided to change his luck by shaving off the goatee that he’s had for five years. His wife “loved the change,” but as Bell explains his 7-year-old daughter had a slightly different reaction: “She took one look at me and said, ‘Daddy, go put your beard back on, now.’ Jordyn told me, ‘Daddy, I’m mad at you this is going to make me cry.'”
* So Taguchi literally didn’t pick up the phone when the Cubs called him up Wednesday night. “I don’t have any friends in Chicago, so I thought it was a wrong number,” Taguchi said. “So I just ignored it for maybe two hours.”
* As usual, The Onion hits the nail on the head: “Derek Jeter Honored For Having Fewer Hits Than Harold Baines.”

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.