Ubaldo Jimenez to Cincinnati? Not at all likely. The Rockies are aiming to land a starting pitcher, not subtract one, prior to the July 31 deadline.
Colorado GM Dan O’Dowd told the Denver Post’s Troy Renck that the Rockies are hoping to pick up a starting pitcher under team control beyond this season.
That makes sense, considering that the Rockies are 8 1/2 games back of the Giants in the NL West and 10 1/2 games back of the Braves in the wild card. Known for some big second-half comebacks in previous years, the Rockies aren’t giving up on 2011 just yet. However, they’re also not interested in mortgaging the future when they currently have a better record than just four NL teams.
Renck mentions Florida’s Anibal Sanchez as one possibility for the Rockies. Sanchez, who had a strong case for a spot on the NL All-Star team, is making $3.7 million this year and will be eligible for free agency for the first time after 2012.
Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie, Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez and Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez are a few other pitchers who could fit for the Rockies. I’d mention Minnesota’s Kevin Slowey as well, but as an extreme flyball pitcher, he’d likely have difficulties in Coors Field.
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.