We figured that everyone looking for a bat at the deadline would wait until after Carlos Beltran got moved to swoop in for the second tier. That seems to be happening at least with Ryan Ludwick, as Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies, Braves, Reds and Indians are all interested.
Maybe the Indians is old information given that they appear as though they’ll have Kosuke Fukudome by this evening, but I could see both Philly and Atlanta going for him. Ludwick is no great shakes — he’s hitting .238 with 11 homers and 62 RBI this season — but he’d probably do a bit better out of San Diego. And, given that he’ll be a free agent this winter, it’s not like he’ll cost a ton.
An exciting move? Nah. But if you want a little power and don’t want to pay much for it, you could do worse.
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.