More Tweety fun from SI’s Jon Heyman:
Angels offered abreu a 2-year extension for about $16 million. after MVP calibre year with LAA, he is looking for more.
This is ridiculous for a couple of reasons. For starters, I have a hard time featuring the Angels, who are, you know, getting ready to play the ALCS, conducting contract negotiations with Abreu. Arte Moreno and his crew are too smart to create distractions like that in the middle of the playoffs. If this offer actually ever happened, I’m betting that it happened a couple of weeks ago. It’s also possible that someone is pulling Heyman’s chain, be it the team or Abreu’s people.
I’d guess it’s Abreu’s people, because the substance of the post itself is silly, and seems calculated to kiss a little butt. Abreu had a nice season for the salary he was paid, and provided some much-needed on base ability for the Angels, but it was by no means an “MVP calibre year.” Indeed, by some measures it was among Abreu’s worst years (power; OPS+, defense).
$16 million over two years is probably defensible enough from the Angels’ perspective. High if they have any outfield prospects of any value who could come in and take his place, but nothing that’s going to break the bank. If Abreu really does manage to find someone to pay him substantially more than that, however, that someone will likely be overpaying.
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.