Mets owner Fred Wilpon told Ian Begley of ESPN New York earlier today that he would like former general manager Omar Minaya to remain with the organization in an advisory role.
“I think Omar is a very good man and a very good person also,” Wilpon said at the Police Athletic League’s 18th annual Sportsnite at Cirpiani Restaurant. “I think [finding] the right position for Omar is going to be helpful for Omar and helpful for this organization.”
Minaya had a sit-down with new Mets general manager Sandy Alderson earlier this month in order to discuss that very possibility, though the club is currently waiting to hear if he’s truly interested in sticking around. The Mets still owe him $1.1 million per year through 2012.
Wilpon didn’t say that he had a specific job description in mind for Minaya, but indicated that he’d like to see him involved with scouting, possibly with a focus on international talent. Considering that three of the Mets’ top prospects — Jenrry Mejia, Cesar Puello and Wilmer Flores — are all from Latin America, that sounds like it would be right up his alley, assuming Alderson is on board.
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.