While various Roy Oswalt trade rumors swirl, Astros owner Drayton McLane denied that the team is close to dealing the veteran right-hander:
[General manager] Ed [Wade] and I talk several times every day, but nothing’s imminent. There is no imminent trade with the Phillies or anybody else. There have been lots and lots of discussions, nothing close to a trade.
Asked by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com whether he’s been approached by the team about possibly waiving his no-trade clause for a deal, Oswalt said:
I don’t know anything about it. I really don’t. I saw it on TV this morning actually. I’ve seen a bunch of other things on TV news and whatever. Until I get told something, I don’t know. Until they come up to me, there’s really nothing I can do. I don’t want to go up to them and ask them every time something comes across the ticker. So until they come to me, I’ll just wait and see.
Oswalt is scheduled to make his next start Saturday against the Reds and that would also be his final start before the July 31 trade deadline. Perhaps fittingly, a victory would move him into a tie with Joe Niekro for the franchise record with 144 wins.
Meanwhile, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com Oswalt is only willing to waive the no-trade clause if the new team agrees to pick up his $16 million option for 2012
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.