Joe Cowley of the Sun Times reports that the Chicago White Sox have “spent the last few days
trying desperately to pry Adam Dunn from the grasps of the Washington
Nationals.” Cowley’s source says Kenny Williams has offered “anyone and anything he has in the minor leagues
in a package,” but that Nat’s GM Mike Rizzo “is
acting like Dunn is Ryan Howard.”
The quasi-outraged Ryan Howard comparison makes me smile because, depending on how you measure such things, a really good argument can be made that Dunn has been more valuable a hitter than Howard over the past three or four years. No, I don’t think I’d rather have Dunn than Howard going forward, but it amazes me how often Dunn is undersold as a hitter. He’s really good.
That said, I hope Rizzo’s reluctance to trade Dunn is a function of the specific players coming back and not some overall hesitance to part with the guy. I’m one of the bigger Adam Dunn fans around, but given his
reported contract demands, it makes all the sense in the world to
trade him right now. Yes, losing his bat would hurt, but the Nats aren’t
scoring enough runs with him, so why not fail to score enough runs
without him while having a couple of prospects to comfort you?
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.