Cubs catcher Geovany Soto played his final game of the 2010 season on Saturday, going 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts against the Marlins. He will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Monday and will spend the next three months in recovery mode, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The procedure should have no effect on his ability to get ready for the start of the 2011 season.
Soto, 27, turned in a solid .280/.393/.497 batting line and 17 home runs in 322 at-bats this year, bouncing back nicely from a poor sophomore campaign in 2009.
As Paul Suillivan of the Chicago Tribune points out, Soto also handled a revolving door of pitchers in Chicago, catching 23 different arms throughout the season. Koyie Hill is expected to handle starting duties behind the plate for the Cubs down the stretch.
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.