From the Department of Not Particularly Surprising Affairs, the Daily News reports that the 2011 Mets are gong to look a lot like the 2010 Mets:
familiar with the team’s thinking say the Mets believe they have too
much money committed to their roster next season – at least $130
million, much of which will go to players who have not performed – to
seriously consider spending heavily on free agents.
Off the table, Andy Martino says, is Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.
Werth being off the table is no great loss, inasmuch as the Mets did the “sign the corner outfielder on the wrong side of 30” thing last year and found it wanting. Lee and Crawford would be nice additions, though. But again, we’ve suspected that the Mets won’t be playing that game this winter for a while. Having it confirmed like this, however, has to be somewhat deflating.
The Mets are caught in a no-man’s land between being a high-payroll contender and a rebuilding team with a bright future. If they can’t jack the payroll even higher in an effort to spend their way out of this mess — which, while inadvisable and distasteful could, theoretically, work — then they should tear things down to the foundation as soon as possible and start over.
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.