As expected, the Padres have decided to non-tender both Tony Gwynn Jr. and Scott Hairston.
San Diego locked up its fourth outfielder for 2011 by signing Chris Denorfia to a one-year, $800,000 deal, making Gwynn and Hairston somewhat superfluous.
In addition to his fantastic, beloved-in-San Diego bloodlines Gwynn has proven to be an elite defensive center fielder, but he’s struggled to hit or stay healthy and the Padres acquired Cameron Maybin to be their starter there for 2011 and beyond.
Hairston’s value is mostly at the plate, but at this point he’s a 30-year-old with a mediocre .737 career OPS and looks like little more than a platoon player despite plenty of power.
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.