6:41pm: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has confirmed that the deal is final.
6:20pm: According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have inked outfielder Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league contract. The deal will be worth $650,000 if he makes the big league club and carries another $800,000 worth of performance-based incentives.
Amezaga, who just turned 32, hit .217/.267/.261 last season in 69 at-bats and will compete with Xavier Paul and Jason Repko this spring for the backup outfield spot vacated
by Juan Pierre. Amezaga is the owner of a .251/.311/.341 career batting line in 1,331 major league at-bats and has played nearly every position during his seven professional seasons. Perhaps that versatility will land him a spot on Los Angeles’ Opening Day roster over some of the other worthy candidates in Dodgers camp.
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.