When Lou Piniella stepped down from his post as Cubs manager in August, he did so in order to make time for his ailing mother.
It wasn’t the way he wanted to go out and he expressed great emotion during his final press conference about leaving the game of baseball behind.
Good news, Lou. You can always come back.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner had a 30-minute conversation with Piniella on Thursday and offered the 67-year-old an open invitation to return to the game in the form of a front-office advisor for the Yanks.
Piniella played outfield in New York for 11 seasons before turning to coaching. He won a World Series championship in pinstripes in 1977 and 1978, and he posted a 224-193 managerial record for the Yankees from 1986 until the middle of the 1988 season.
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.