Ryan Dempster, on what (former) rotation-mate Carlos Zambrano should do following his suspension-earning dugout tirade:
When you do those things and react the way he did you have to be the one to stand up and go out there and accept responsibility. I think he will be willing to do that but we’ll have to wait and see. I can’t make speculations because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Whatever happens, happens and we’re just worried about going out and winning the ball game tonight.
Asked about Zambrano having dinner with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen hours after the incident, Dempster said:
Me? Would I do it? No. But to each their own. When you’re away from the field you can go hang out with whoever you want to hang out with and have dinner with whoever you want to eat with. I know [Zambrano and Guillen] are really good friends away from the field, and they talk a lot and they see each other a lot in the offseason. He’s free to do whatever he wants.
All things considered, I’d say that’s a pretty reasoned response from Dempster.
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.