Not every postseason hero gets to stick with their team forever — Francisco Cabrera had a nice moment, but 91 plate appearances after his big hit, he was gone — but Cody “death to inside fastballs” Ross isn’t likely to be one of those short term guys. Brian Sabean tells the Merc that the team is looking to keep the arbitration-eligible Ross after this season.
It helps that, even though Ross is making his national debut in many important ways this week, he’s a decent ballplayer. After a nomadic first few years in the bigs, Ross established himself in Florida, where he showed some nice pop. He doesn’t get on base particularly well, but compared to Aaron Rowand he’s practically Kevin Youkilis in terms of plate discipline. Moreover, given that Andres Torres has probably been playing over his head and given that Pat Burrell has nowhere to go but down, the Giants have to have someone they can rely on in the outfield going forward.
The question, though, is whether Sabean decides to simply do a one year arbitration-avoiding deal on a guy who can probably be counted on for a good year, or if he’s going to take those dingers he hit off Halladay and Oswalt a bit too seriously and think he has a multi-year contract-deserving superstar on his hands in Ross.
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.