According to the New Orleans Zephyrs’ official Twitter feed, the Marlins reached agreement on a minor league contract Thursday morning with infielder Jose Lopez and assigned him to Triple-A.
Lopez was cut loose by the Rockies earlier this week after batting just .208/.233/.288 with two home runs and six total extra-base hits in 129 plate appearances. Colorado is on the hook for the rest of the $3.6 million salary that he is owed this season.
The Marlins have settled on Gregg Dobbs as their starter at third base after playing with a few different looks during spring training. Dobbs has played performed well defensively and at the plate, but the Fish could be open to giving Lopez a shot as a bench player if he gets off to a strong start down in New Orleans, where he reported Thursday night.
Lopez, 27, slugged 25 homers and tallied 96 RBI in 2009 for the Mariners and was named an All-Star in 2006. That said, he has a poor .690 career OPS and is not a strong defender at second or third base.
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.