Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune tweeted earlier today that the Cubs have been “kicking around” the idea of swapping outfielder Kosuke Fukudome in a package for Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. If the Cubs have indeed been exploring such a deal, they should stop now.
Whether you prefer MLB Network’s Peter Gammons, the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman or Sean McAdam of CSN New England, the Red Sox are saying through a variety of sources that they have no interest in a swap.
Matsuzaka has struggled through the past few seasons in a Red Sox uniform and is probably going to be shopped around the league this winter, but Fukudome simply doesn’t fit with Boston’s roster makeup.
Fukudome is owed $13.5 million next season and would only serve as a platoon player in the Sox’s already crowded and talented outfield.
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.