UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Tigers are looking like the front-runners to sign Penny.
8:30 PM: Brad Penny just cut out the middleman and gave us the latest update on his job search via his Twitter account.
“Getting close to finding my new home. Should know by the end of the day.”
Penny, 32, posted went 3-4 with a 3.23 ERA and 35/9 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts with the Cardinals last season before suffering a season-ending lat injury in May.
It’s not clear who the front-runner might be here, but we have heard Penny mentioned most often in connection with the Tigers this winter. Of course, his previous stint in the American League didn’t go so well. He went 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA and 89/42 K/BB ratio over 131 2/3 innings with the Red Sox in 2009.
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.