Back in mid-December the Yankees signed reliever Luis Vizcaino to a minor-league deal, but they’ve voided the contract after the veteran right-hander injured his Achilles’ tendon while pitching in winter ball.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that Vizcaino was “throwing consistently in the mid-90s” after missing most of the past two seasons with arm problems and “the Yankees were quietly excited” about having him compete for a middle relief job.
Instead he’s expected to miss the entire season and, at age 37, might be finished. Vizcaino, who went 8-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 75 innings for the Yankees in 2007, was in line to earn $750,000 if he made the Opening Day roster.
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.