It was reported yesterday that the Mets were close to a deal with Fernando Tatis to be their part-time first baseman. Now that deal is done, according to the New York Post. Tatis will get less than the $1.7 million he made last year, but there are some incentives built in that can get him close, the Post reports.
I hadn’t realized this before, but there is apparently a personal connection between Omar Minaya and Tatis, in that Minaya signed Tatis to his first
professional contract in 1992 when Minaya was a scout for the Rangers. Minaya subsequently brought him to Montreal and then of course to New York. Still, it’s not as if this was purely a friendship deal, as the Mariners Rockies and Indians were all reportedly interested in Tatis to greater or lesser degrees.
To the extent Mets fans are unhappy about this, look on the bright side: Ike Davis made Keith Law’s top 100 prospects list released yesterday — he’s at 64 — and if all things go as planned, he’ll probably be manning first in Queens next year.
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.