The Padres have avoided one of those often-tumultuous arbitration hearings with outfielder Scott Hairston, signing him Tuesday afternoon to a $2.45 million contract for the 2010 season. The news comes via MLB.com’s Corey Brock.
Hairston requested $2.9 million from the Padres and was offered $2.1 million when
arbitration figures were exchanged two weeks ago, so a little compromise was needed on both sides. He hit .265/.307/.456 with 17 home runs, 64 RBI and 11 stolen bases last year in 430 at-bats between Oakland and San Diego. The 29-year-old is expected to serve in a center field platoon this season with Tony Gwynn Jr..
The Padres also acquired his brother, Jerry Hairston Jr., this offseason with a one-year, $2.15 million free agent contract. He’s expected to serve in a kind of super-utility role for the club, backing up multiple positions on the infield and outfield.
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.