Prior to managing his final game for the Dodgers yesterday Joe Torre reiterated to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he doesn’t plan to manage in the big leagues again, but did say that a short-term gig skippering the World Baseball Classic team in 2013 “would be interesting.”
You wouldn’t have a lot of baggage there, and it would be stimulating. Sure, at some point, if somebody thinks I could be a benefit. That is the key for me. Whatever I do, it has to be because I can help, not just because I have been around a long time.
Of course, 2013 is way off in the distance and Torre will be 73 years old by the time the next WBC arrives, although as Jackson notes Tommy Lasorda was 71 years old when he managed the United States to a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics.
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.