Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that, despite some suggestions that Buck Showalter is all but hired as the Orioles manager, the O’s aren’t going to change their skipper any time soon. At least not through the trade deadline, and possibly longer. Connolly writes “whether a change will be made in August, September, at the end of the season or at all has not yet been determined.”
For his part, Buck Showalter says he’s fine with the timeline and how it’s all being handled. Which makes me wonder if this delay isn’t being done in conjunction with Showalter’s wishes.
You’ll recall that when Showalter took the Arizona job a couple of years before the Diamondbacks even took the field. There was a big to-do at the time about how he wanted all that time to prepare and do all of the Buck Showaltery organizational things he’s noted for. I can’t help but wonder if he has a wink-wink agreement with the O’s in which they’ve told him they’re going to hire him but he doesn’t want to take over in the middle of a lost season. If that were the case even naming him manager for 2011 right now could work to undermine Juan Samuel as he tries to finish 2010 with a bit of dignity.
This is just speculation on my part, of course, but crazier things have happened.
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.