I view the Pirates’ managerial job the same way I used to view getting hired by a criminal defendant after his trial but before his appeal: it’s nothing that’s going to end well, but really, how bad would I have to be to truly screw this up? Enter Eric Wedge, who Jenifer Langosch reports was interviewed by the Pirates for the job left vacant by John Russell’s departure.
Wedge would be a perfectly fine choice for the Pirates. He has experience taking over a young team and helping them through the growing pains. Say what you want about some of those Indians teams, but the kids generally liked Wedge and the ship stayed level. The real problems came up when people, you know, actually expected something out of the Indians. Wedge was not good in that situation, but it’s a situation that the Pirates won’t be facing for some time.
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.