I don’t read Roch Kubato’s blog every day so maybe this is just part of his shtick, but if not, this is mildly interesting:
Yesterday passed without the Orioles doing anything. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail might have made contact with more agents or rival executives, but that’s only an assumption. The media has been left in the dark because he’s no longer returning our calls.
Or maybe it’s just Kubato’s calls he’s not returning. I have no idea. If it’s everyone’s, though, maybe MacPhail is just getting tired of being asked if three years is too great a commitment to make to a guy like Adam LaRoche.
Kubato has some other suggestions in his post, including cutting bait on LaRoche if he won’t take the $21 million offer that’s on the table, going after Vladimir Guerrero and moving Luke Scott to first base. Makes sense to me. At least if Luke Scott believes in the existence of first base. If not, though, I won’t judge him because who am I to cast aspersions on a man’s opinions?
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.