Oswalt's no-trade clause is becoming meaningless

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roy oswalt headshot astros.jpgIn the past couple of weeks we’ve heard Roy Oswalt say that he’d waive his no-trade clause to go “an organization that wants to win.”  They all want to win, of course, so that doesn’t say much. Neither, really, does Oswalt fielding questions about specific teams.  Oswalt is a nice young southern gentleman, so I’m sure he was taught that it was rude to disparage people in public. The Nats? Sure, why not. The Yankees? Can’t rule it out!  How about the Mets?

A player who is friendly with Roy Oswalt says
the Astros right-hander would “definitely” accept a trade to the Mets
if they remain in the playoff hunt. But the fact Oswalt is
still owed about $30 million through 2011 makes it extremely unlikely
the Mets would pursue him. The player who is friendly with
Oswalt said the right-hander likes the veteran fiber of the Mets.

Oswalt was long thought to prefer the National League and smaller cities closer to his offseason home down south. Now that he’s said OK to the Mets, the Yankees and the Nationals — more or less — none of that seems to apply. Or maybe he’s just saying that, yes, hypothetically he’d accept anything.  It seems, though, that the more reports like this we hear, the less meaningful they truly are.

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.