General manager Brian Sabean loves veterans and the Giants are in need of catching help with Buster Posey out for the season, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that they “don’t consider Ivan Rodriguez the answer.”
Rodriguez is old enough that his son was drafted by the Twins earlier this week and he’s hitting .205 with a .585 OPS in 26 games as Wilson Ramos’ backup in Washington, so unless the question is “who’s a washed up future Hall of Famer?” then the Giants are right not to think he’s “the answer.”
On the other hand, presumably the Nationals will eventually come around to the idea of getting anything of value they can for Rodriguez and Eli Whiteside has struggled filling in for Posey. Sabean and the Giants understandably don’t think much of Rodriguez, but they may still be willing to give up a low-level prospect for his veteran-ness if Whiteside is hitting .190 next month.
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.