Billy Beane thinks Sandy Alderson would be perfect for Mets

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All things Billy Beane have lost quite a bit of gravitas over the past few years, but the A’s general manager still makes headlines when he weighs in on various topics and said yesterday that he thinks Sandy Alderson would be the perfect fit as the Mets’ next GM.

There’s no question he would change the image there. Right away, there would be direction and vision. That seems to be what people are calling out for. I have zero doubt that it would work, no reservations. His background suggests that he would thrive with something like this situation. It would be an incredible fit. He’s got a Hall of Fame resume. And he’s going to bring the best and brightest to work with him. And they want to work for him. There was never a time when I worked for him that I was restless, because there was never a day I didn’t learn something from him.

Beane was Alderson’s assistant in the 1990s and then succeeded him as A’s general manager. By most accounts Alderson is the clear front-runner for the Mets’ job and some reports have even suggested that interviewing non-Alderson candidates is little more than a formality before New York hires him.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.