The Marlins avoided arbitration by agreeing to one-year deals with Leo Nunez and Edward Mujica tonight, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Nunez will make $3.65 million plus performance bonuses based on games finished. Nunez earned $2 million last season while posting a 3.46 ERA, 71/21 K/BB ratio and 30 saves in 38 chances. He was removed from the closer role after a nightmare month of August, where he posted a bloated 9.38 ERA and blew three saves, but is expected to regain the ninth-inning gig in 2011.
Mujica was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 26-year-old right-hander was acquired from the Padres in November as part of the Cameron Maybin trade. He has a 3.80 ERA and 148/25 K/BB ratio over the past two seasons, but has enjoyed most of his success at the pitcher-friendly PETCO Park.
Interestingly, according to Rodriguez, Nunez will now be the highest paid reliever under Jeffrey Loria’s decade-long run as owner. The previous high was Armando Benitez, who earned $3.5 million with the club during the 2004 season.
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.