As expected, the Phillies have activated Brad Lidge from the disabled list after the former closer missed the first 97 games of the season with shoulder and elbow problems.
To make room on the roster and in the bullpen for Lidge they designated Danys Baez for assignment, which is a move that’s been a long time coming.
Baez signed a two-year, $5.25 million deal with the Phillies in January of 2010 and has given them 84 innings of 5.81 ERA pitching for that money.
He provided some rare value by throwing five scoreless innings in a marathon win over the Reds on May 25, but in the two months since then Baez has logged a grand total of just 12 innings … and has allowed 17 runs.
Charlie Manuel will probably work Lidge back into the bullpen mix somewhat slowly, which is a luxury made possible by Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo, but if he looks good in his first few appearances the Phillies may decide they don’t need any further relief help at the trade deadline.
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.