At least if the words of team negotiator Teddy Werner are to be believed. The two sides will likely head to an arbitration hearing after the Brewers pulled their latest offer to outfielder Corey Hart, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“We made a final offer that we thought was a good offer,” said Werner.
“It’s significantly higher than the number we filed. They didn’t like
it. I said, ‘See you in Tampa in a couple of weeks.'”
Hart requested $4.8 million while the Brewers filed for $4.15 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last week. As Haudricourt notes, the Brewers have never went to an arbitration hearing under general manager Doug Melvin.
“Maybe they think we’re bluffing,” said Werner. “But we’re not.”
Hart is nowhere near as indispensable as a Tim Lincecum, but there’s a lot to lose for both sides if this goes to a hearing. The nature of such hearings can have long-lasting effects on the relationship between an organization and its player. Hart’s game has plenty of faults, and the Brewers will be sure to point them out if it comes to it.
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.