Rondell White, Cliff Floyd and four other ballplayers scammed, lawsuit says

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Ex-ballplayers Rondell White, Cliff Floyd, Gregg Jeffries and Todd Hundley — and current ballplayers David Wright and Jason Marquis — were allegedly defrauded in a real estate scam.  So says the complaint White and Floyd have filed in federal court anyway:

The lawsuit claims that [Defendant Stephen] Hill, who had served as White and Floyd’s
financial adviser for some 15 years, had allegedly “guaranteed that the
Whites would not only get all of their money back quickly, but would
make a substantial profit on their investment,” based on the notion that
a buyer for the distressed property — priced at $14.485 million, but
supposedly appraised at $18 million — had already been secured.

But when White and Floyd both began to inquire about the status of
the deal at various points over the following three years, Hill, they
say, would become “markedly evasive” about the details, finally
prompting them to contact an attorney this spring. White and Floyd claim
that the first documentation for the deal of any kind was shown to them
in March 2010, over two years after their investment.

White is alleged to have been bilked out of $1 million and Floyd is down $1.25 million.  The other investors — who are not part of this lawsuit, but could presumably be later — are in for anywhere between $250K and $500K a piece.

I’ve dealt with lawsuits like this one before. The chances that they’re going to see any of that money again are somewhere between slim and oh dear, you gotta be kidding me.

In other news: hey, a Gregg Jeffries sighting! Neat!

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.