Andy Pettitte is gone. And it’s always the same after a breakup. The spurned one goes cruising for randoms: Rosenthal reports that people in the Yankees front office are discussing Joe Saunders, Scott Kazmir, Wade LeBlanc, Clayton Richard and Gio Gonzalez.
It’s less a shopping list than a brainstorming session, it seems. But it certainly doesn’t seem like the case that the Yankees are content to simply stand pat on the rotation. As we discussed yesterday, depth is a concern. Any of those guys — to the extent they’re actually available anyway — are good depth options.
The real issue right now is timing. We’re at the point of the offseason where most teams have talked themselves into liking their roster. Or at least they’ve talked their season ticket holders into liking it. Thus there are few teams who are really going to want to give up a serviceable starting pitcher. Unless it’s an overpay or the assumption of a truly odious contract — which I don’t think the Yankees are willing to do just yet — teams will tend to wait for their seasons to go a little bit sideways before making trades. As such, this is all so much spitballin’ at the moment.
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.