The Cubs are reportedly interested in Ben Sheets who, in turn, is interested in playing for the Cubs. I love it when true love blooms. The problem: Sheets reportedly has been asking for a two-year deal averaging around
$10 million to $12 million per year.
The Cubs would be right to balk at such an asking price for a guy coming off injuries like Sheets is, but then again, the Cubs are paying Carlos Silva $8 million per for the next couple of years, so who are they to judge.
Seriously though, Sheets may be the best choice for a team really looking to make a move next season. Obviously there are still questions about his arm, but it’s not like he’s coming off Tommy John surgery. He could easily get hurt again, but if he doesn’t he could easily be a front of the rotation starter again. Given the gamble he represents, anyone who goes for Sheets would have to have the financial wherewithal to absorb his loss if and when it happens, but I think the Cubs fit that category. So too do the Phillies and the Mets who have also been rumored to be talking to Sheets’ agent.
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.