As expected, John McLaren has officially been named the Nationals’ interim manager following Jim Riggleman’s resignation yesterday, but apparently he’s not long for the job either.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that McLaren will manage the team this weekend but “general manager Mike Rizzo is expected to name another interim manager by Monday.”
Most of the speculation so far has centered on Davey Johnson ultimately getting the full-time job. Johnson managed the Mets to a World Series win in 1986 and has a .564 winning percentage in 14 total seasons for the Mets, Orioles, Reds, and Dodgers.
Johnson is currently working in the Nationals’ front office, but hasn’t managed since going 86-76 with the Dodgers in 2000 and is 68 years old.
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.