First it was Mike Lowell’s thumb, and now Max Ramirez’s wrists are getting closer scrutiny reports Rob Bradford of WEEI. That and “at least one other issue unrelated to either player’s physical condition,” are holding up the deal. If I had to guess I’d say that the “other issue” is the Commissioner’s office, which usually has to sign off on any deals where a lot of cash is changing hands like we have here. Whatever the case, Pete Abraham quotes the Red Sox’ assistant GM Ben Cherington as saying “It would not be a complete surprise if it didn’t happen,” meaning the whole damn deal.
Wow. How awkward would it be for the Lowell and the Red Sox if the thing fell through? “Hey Mike, we’re happy to have you back! What? Oh, that thing about us paying nearly $10 million to make you go away? Hey, let’s let bygones be bygones!”
UPDATE: Gammons tweets that Lowell may need surgery. If that’s the case, this deal goes from mostly dead to dead.
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.