Link-O-Rama: Heel injury ends Scutaro's breakout season

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* Marco Scutaro’s career-best season is likely over after an MRI exam revealed a tear in the plantar fasciitis of his right heel. The injury comes at an inopportune time for the 33-year-old impending free agent, but hitting .282/.379/.409 with 12 homers, 35 doubles, 90 walks, and 14 steals in 144 games as the Blue Jays’ starting shortstop still figures to at least quadruple his current $1.1 million salary in 2010.
* Curt Schilling has officially decided not to run for Ted Kennedy’s vacant senate seat. “Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that’s been given to me, it just did not make sense,” Schilling said. Meanwhile, polling in Massachusetts suggested that he had little chance to win anyway.
* Team USA opened the World Cup final round yesterday with a 6-3 victory over Venezuela, who previously handed the United States their only loss of the tournament. Pirates prospects Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln starred in the win.
* Flip Flop Fly Ball has a cool graphic showing how often the team with baseball’s best record goes on to win the World Series.
* Mariners fans are now free to go strip-clubbing around Safeco Field.

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.