Astros to receive two prospects for Lance Berkman

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Here’s the haul from the Yankees. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who
has been on top of this trade all along, the Astros will receive
right-hander Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes.

Melancon, 25, is 6-1 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 40 games with
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He was ranked as the
organization’s No. 15 prospect coming into the season by Baseball
America, but has struggled with his control, walking five batters per
nine innings. The former ninth-round pick in 2006 has a 4.87 ERA in 15
major league appearances, all in relief.

Paredes, 21, has a .280/.313/.393 batting line over four seasons in the
minors. He plays all around the infield and has stolen 36 bases in 99
games with Single-A Charleston this season. He didn’t rank inside
Baseball America’s top 30 for the organization coming into the season.

All in all, pretty uninspiring. Considering the fact that the Astros are
paying anywhere from 3-4 million of the $7.5 million left on Berkman’s
deal, even more so.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.