Tyler Walker pitched well for the Nationals through mid-June, posting a 3.57 ERA and 30/8 K/BB ratio in 35 innings, but missed the final three months of the season following shoulder surgery.
Based on his recovery timetable the veteran reliever could be ready to pitch again as soon as spring training, but at age 34 he’s reportedly pondering retirement and today the Nationals released Walker.
Walker didn’t make his big-league debut until age 26 and never really got settled in one place thanks to injuries and poor control.
He pitched for five teams in eight years, throwing more than 50 innings in back-to-back seasons just once, but does have a 4.23 ERA in 300 career innings and was briefly a closer for both the Giants and Rays.
If he doesn’t call it quits Walker will likely find a minor-league deal somewhere.
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.