Wil Ledezma (a) once missed time during the season because he ran his passport and Visa through the washing machine; (b) was non-tendered after the 2008 season; (c) wasn’t signed for 2009 until late December, and even then it was by the worst team in baseball; and (d) put up a 9.53 ERA in five games for the worst team in baseball and was DFA’d by them before the end of April.
So of course the Pirates signed him.
Is this the end of the world for Pittsburgh? Of course not. It’s just a minor league deal for some random cannon fodder. But it is a minor league deal with a guy who appears to be all but worthless, at a time of the offseason when the team should be thinking about big picture issues instead of the final pieces of roster flotsam. Winning teams don’t makes these kinds of deals now, do they? Not that anyone would ever mistake Pittsburgh for a winning team.
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.