If it weren’t for that “the Braves shouldn’t have kept Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz” thing earlier this morning this would have been the silliest thing I read all day:
[Manny] Ramirez complained toward the end of last season that playing the
outfield wore down his legs. He seriously considered opting out of his
contract to return to the American League for a designated-hitter role,
but instead exercised a $20 million option to remain a Dodger when it
was clear no other club would come close to that salary.
The notion that Ramirez would have even considered walking away from $20 million for a shot at some of those big, big DH dollars everyone is throwing out these days is pretty laughable. Less laughable than disturbing is the notion that Manny Ramirez — who, you may recall, took an extended breather during the middle of last season — says he needs even more rest for his weary legs. Because unless he’s back on the hormones, he’s gonna be expected to play more than 104 games out there this year.
Despite all of the offseason turmoil, I still think the Dodgers are the favorites in the NL West, but if Manny Ramirez is truly breaking down as fast as he claims to be, it may very well be a long season in Los Angeles.
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.