Brewers GM Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt on Saturday that his club has made little progress toward a contract extension with slugger Prince Fielder and his agent, Scott Boras.
Melvin and Co. had been in talks with Boras during spring training, but it sounds like the two sides have very different opinions on the big man’s value. Fielder is in the midst of a down year, batting a pedestrian .260/.392/.473 by his high standards. Of course, there is plenty of baseball yet to be played this season and Cecil’s son is certainly capable of turning things around. He does have 15 home runs and a 968 OPS in June.
The Brewers may hang onto Fielder until the offseason and then try to trade him for a batch of young prospects, but Melvin acknowledged that he will listen to offers from other clubs in the meantime.
“Whenever a deal feels good, you make it,” said the general manager. “There’s no
timetable for that. Somebody could call up and say, ‘Hey, would you do
lot of guys snoop around to see what’s going on. If somebody asks about
a player, I’ll say, ‘You’ve asked about him. What will you offer?'”
Fielder, who turned 26 in May, is under contract through the 2011 season. He is a .281/.382/.542 career hitter with 175 home runs over his first five-plus professional seasons.
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.