As Matt noted last night, almost everything the Cardinals do depends on Matt Holliday. If they can keep him, they’re willing to let Mark DeRosa go without a fight and allow young David Freese take over at third. And it goes beyond just third base, with owner Bill DeWitt saying “If we don’t spend on Holliday, we will spend on other players.”
In light of that, the Cardinals are pushing hard to meet with Scott Boras this week in order to get some sense as to whether they have a legitimate shot at re-signing their left fielder, says Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch. Boras, however, has told the Cardinals to hold off on making any offers until at least this week. Ideally, he’s have them wait even longer — say, until the Yankees and anyone else is ready to make an offer — so he can play one off the other. That’s just how he rolls.
Upshot: I can’t feature Boras giving the Cardinals any more certainty than they have now. They should just move on, spend their money on people willing to deal and see if Boras comes calling later. Life is too short, ya know?
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.