Buried in the middle of Troy Renck’s latest Rockies notebook in the Denver Post is this sentence, accompanied by no other details: “Colorado also has interest in Angels starter Scott Kazmir, who had a disappointing season.”
First, calling what Kazmir did this year “a disappointing season” would be like calling me chubby. He had a 5.94 ERA in 28 starts and the one-time flamethrower walked nearly as many batters (79) as he struck out (93).
Second, if the Rockies truly have any kind of “interest” in Kazmir they can almost surely get him from the Angels.
Kazmir is owed $12 million next season and his contract also includes a $13.5 million option or $2.5 million buyout for 2012. Obviously if the Rockies called and offered to simply assume the remainder of Kazmir’s contract Angels general manager Tony Reagins would scream “yes!” before they even had a chance to finish the sentence.
The real question is how much of that $14.5 million Kazmir is still owed are the Rockies willing to assume? And if the answer is “not much” and they’d want the Angels to eat, say, $12.5 million of it, then are they willing to part with something resembling a useful prospect?
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.