It seems that Sandy Alderson was asked by reporters yesterday if signing catcher Ronny Paulino was an “ethical and public relations” problem in light of Paulino’s suspension for taking a banned stimulant last year. Not surprisingly, Alderson said no, it was not.
People can ask what they want to ask of course, but I don’t recall this being an issue with other players who have been linked to PEDs. It is in keeping, however, with the curious scrutiny that some have given Alderson when it comes to PEDs and which is not given to other GMs who ran teams during the height of the steroid era. As if Alderson cooked up ‘roids in an old Winnebago in the desert with Jose Canseco or something. Which would be totally cool, of course, but it didn’t happen that way.
My view: there are rules in place governing PEDs now. The suspensions are part of those rules, as is the reinstatement of suspended players. Paulino did his time. There are no “ethical considerations” involved unless one does not respect the current rules in place. And if that’s the case, the questions are not for Sandy Alderson. They’re for Bud Selig.
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.