UPDATE: Rumor Denied by a Mets’ spokesman. Drat. I like Pedro stuff. He makes the world a whole lot brighter.
5:20 P.M.: ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the Mets have talked to Pedro Martinez about coming back to pitch in New York. Never mind that he hasn’t started 25 games or thrown 150 innings since his first year with the Mets in 2005, and that he left town a year ago remembered far more as a free agent bust than as a future Hall of Famer.
But it could be all about perception and expectations with Pedro. Bring him in for huge money and he busts and of course the fans in Queens are going to be angry. Bring him in for low, low veteran dollars and he pitches as a fair-to-middlin’ back of the rotation starter and he might be a nice little signing.
Heck, the Mets were reported to be in on Jason Marquis, and I could see Pedro having a more useful season than him.
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.