General manager Walt Jocketty indicated yesterday that the Reds are likely to decline their $4 million option on Orlando Cabrera for next season, but may be interested in re-signing the veteran shortstop for a lesser salary.
Cabrera hit just .263/.303/.354 for a .657 OPS that ranked fourth-worst among all NL hitters and at age 35 has lost most of his range defensively, so the Reds are right to think he’s not worth $4 million in 2011. On the other hand the buyout for his option is $1 million, so they seem unlikely to save a whole lot by declining the option and re-signing him.
Cincinnati would likely be better off simply cutting Cabrera loose, investing the $3 million saved elsewhere, and handing shortstop over to 27-year-old Paul Janish. He hit .260/.338/.385 in 228 plate appearances this season while often subbing for an injured Cabrera and is superior defensively, all for around $400,000.
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.