Atkins gets $4.5 million from Orioles, with $8.5 million option for 2011

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In analyzing Garrett Atkins signing with the Orioles last night Matthew predicted that the one-year deal would be worth “$4 million-$5 million.” Official terms of the contract were released this afternoon and sure enough Atkins is guaranteed … $4.5 million.
He’ll get $4 million in 2010 and the Orioles hold an $8.5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2011, so it’ll either be a one-year, $4.5 million deal or a two-year, $12.5 million deal. Expect the former, because the odds of Atkins being worth $8.5 million in 2011 are slim, particularly with the Orioles using him keeping third base warm for prospect Josh Bell.
I’m not as optimistic about Atkins rebounding in Baltimore as Matthew seems to be. His defense at third base is closer to horrible than average at this point and his OPS has gone from .965 to .853 to .780 to .650 since a career-year in 2006. He’ll bounce back from last season’s putrid .226/.308/.342 mark, but Atkins was also a below-average hitter in 2008 and has batted just .252/.324/.411 away from Coors Field during his entire seven-year career. Toss in the league switch and I’d certainly take the “under” on an .800 OPS.

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.