The thing I said earlier today about the Mets essentially being a .500 team refers to them in their current state. Obviously if they make a few moves they can change the complexion of the race and remain in the thick of things no matter how high their current highs and how low their reasonably expected lows.
Indeed, as Buster Olney notes, the Mets could be particularly well-positioned as far as trades go given the nature of this year’s trade market. And they could even make a deal that would drive Phillies fans nuts:
There will be lots of starting pitching available, whether it’s Roy Oswalt or (perhaps) Cliff Lee or Ben Sheets or Jake Westbrook or Fausto Carmona or Kevin Millwood or Ted Lilly — and so it’ll be a buyers’ market as the Mets look for a pitcher.
There is a nightmare scenario is possible for the Phillies: Imagine if Cliff Lee, who was famously traded by Philadelphia over the winter, is dealt to the Mets? And if the Mets’ great week inspires fans to start filling the empty seats at Citi Field, you can bet that club ownership will want to do what it can to fan the flames of success.
The Mets offense could use patching up far more than their pitching at the moment, but if they could pick up someone like Lee (maybe) or Oswalt (a longer shot given his no-trade clause), they could make some noise. And remember: Madoff or not, the Mets probably have the money to make moves many other
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.