Most of us, including Craig, had a hard time believing that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels actually wanted Jeff Francoeur when reports first surfaced earlier today. Well, the deal just went down.
The Mets traded Francoeur to the Rangers in exchange for infielder Joaquin Arias, according to a team press release. The Rangers are also reportedly receiving some cash as part of the deal.
Jon Heyman of SI.com was first with the proposed swap earlier tonight, while Francoeur confirmed the trade to reporters after Tuesday’s loss to the Braves.
Arias isn’t really a player of any significance, however he was designated for assignment in order to make room for Alex Cora on the Rangers’ roster last week. That’s right, both Cora and Francoeur are now members of the Texas Rangers.
As a Mets fan, it’s hard to see any redeeming qualities in Francoeur, but he’ll likely be used as part of a tandem with the left-handed hitting David Murphy. His role could be elevated depending upon the condition of Josh Hamilton’s knee, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. I’m guessing he’ll be non-tendered in December either way.
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.