Jeff Francoeur and Melky Caberera in the same outfield? It’s like Christmas for snarky baseball bloggers.
From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that Cabrera has reached agreement with the Royals on a one-year, $1.25 million contract that includes $250,000 in performance-based incentives.
Cabrera was released by the Braves two months ago and drew very little interest on the open market this fall and winter. He batted just .255/.317/.354 over 509 plate appearances for Atlanta in 2010 and had trouble covering ground in the outfield by the end of his tenure.
Most of Melky’s recent failures have to do with his poor level of conditioning. That’s a mental thing, not a physical thing, and the Royals will have to hope that he decides to stay in shape and commit himself to his talents.
At $1.25 million, it’s not a terrible deal. The Royals have to take chances to fill some holes. With a farm system bursting in potential, maybe they won’t have to in the near future. For now, though, it’s all aboard for guys with question marks.
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.