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Rockies decline $4.5 million option on Octavio Dotel for 2011

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Because he was traded during the season Octavio Dotel had the right to reject his $4.5 million option if it was exercised, but the Rockies made that a moot point by choosing a $250,000 buyout instead.

Colorado acquired Dotel in mid-September and he wouldn’t have even been eligible for the playoff roster, so it’s no surprise that they declined the option. No, the real shocker with Dotel is that the Dodgers thought it was a good idea to trade a legitimately solid pitching prospect in James McDonald to get Dotel on July 31, only to basically give him away to the Rockies two months later.

McDonald posted a 3.52 ERA in 11 starts for the Pirates and figures to be one of Pittsburgh’s best starters for years to come, while Dotel logged all of 19 innings for the Dodgers, threw another five frames for the Rockies, and is now a free agent.

While giving up McDonald for him was a terrible idea that only got worse, Dotel still has very good raw stuff and even at age 36 had one of the highest strikeout rates in baseball. His problem tends to be keeping the ball in the ballpark, serving up 28 homers in 193 innings over the past three seasons, but he should be able to find a one-year deal as a setup man on the open market.

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.