Grady Sizemore done for year after microfracture surgery

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It was the worst-case scenario for the Indians, who knew they were going to lose their center fielder for at least six-to-eight weeks following knee surgery on Friday. Grady Sizemore, though, required a microfracture procedure on his left knee, ending his season and possibly sidelining him to begin spring training 2011.
Sizemore ends what was supposed to be a comeback season at .211/.271/.289 with no homers in 128 at-bats. The three-time All-Star was limited to 106 games last year by groin and elbow injuries.
Filling in for Sizemore has been 2005 first-round pick Trevor Crowe. However, Crowe is hitting just .238/.291/.300 in 80 at-bats and figures to be supplanted soon by Michael Brantley.
Brantley, a superior defensive center fielder, is batting .288/.367/.353 in 139 at-bats in Triple-A. The son of former major leaguer Mickey Brantley has no power to speak of, but he’s traditionally done a very good job of getting on base.
One disppointing fact is that Brantley has stolen just four bases in six attempts this year. Last year, he was 46-for-51 stealing bases in 116 minor league games. He also hit .313/.358/.348 with four steals in 112 at-bats in his first exposure to major league pitching. Expect to see him batting leadoff for the Indians at some point within the next few weeks.

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.