Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com tells us that the Red Sox are starting to “pull
back” in their efforts to sign Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman.
The Red Sox were one of the first teams to offer Chapman a contract,
but as the price tag for the young fireballer has topped $20 million,
McAdam reports that the club has grown uncomfortable giving that amount
of money to someone they believe has a lot of “question marks.”
These “question marks” could be the whole unknown quantity thing, but
that didn’t shy them away from Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima or
Junichi Tazawa in the past. Like Jorge Arangure tweeted in regards to the Yankees on Friday night, it may have “more to do with makeup than money.”
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.