Back in November there were some reports of Jarrod Washburn considering a comeback after sitting out all of last season following knee surgery, but Joel Sherman has a note about Washburn in the New York Post that suggests the veteran left-hander won’t be pitching again.
According to Sherman the Yankees “did check into Washburn earlier in the offseason” but “matters did not go far.” Sherman writes that the Yankees would likely consider signing Washburn if he’d accept a minor-league deal and presumably if he was interesting in making a comeback he’d be fine with having to win a job during spring training.
Also interesting: Sherman notes that the Yankees tried to acquire Washburn at the 2009 trading deadline, but rightfully balked at the Mariners’ asking price of Austin Jackson and another prospect. Washburn ended up going to the Tigers for a considerably lesser package and pitched horribly before being shut down, and then in an odd twist of fate Detroit wound up acquiring Jackson as part of the Curtis Granderson trade.
It’s pretty amazing that in the span of eight starts (and one knee injury) Washburn went from his team wanting a prospect the caliber of Jackson in return for him to being out of baseball.
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.