During an appearance on “Marlins Insider,” a weekly radio show on 790 The Ticket in Miami, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said that he met with free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez today.
Courtesy of Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post:
“He’s from my hometown in Ponce. I’ve know him well since he was 14, 15 years old. He’s very confident about the whole situation. He told me where’s hes at right now. Hopefully we can get him and put him in that rotation. If we have a chance to sign him he’s gonna be a great acquisition.”
Vazquez has reportedly told associates that he would love to return to the National League and sees a good fit with Florida, which is in close proximity to his home in Puerto Rico. The only problem? Capozzi writes that Vazquez is seeking a three-year contract worth $33 million. Seriously. Good luck with that one.
On a related note, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported earlier this week that the Marlins only have $4-5 million left in their offseason budget after signing John Buck. Vazquez’s past with Rodriguez shouldn’t be overlooked, but if money is truly his first priority, he’ll be pitching elsewhere next 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.