Be honest, you forgot Derrek Lee was on the Pirates. It’s a forgivable offense, as he only appeared in five games with his new team before being placed on the disabled list last month with a fractured left wrist.
Anyway, Lee is back in the lineup for the Pirates this afternoon gainst the Cubs and just drove in a run with a single in the top of the first inning.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has advocated bringing Lee back next season, but it will be interesting to see what happens with him this offseason. Increasingly injury-prone, the 35-year-old first baseman entered played today with a .255/.330/.425 batting line and a .755 OPS since the start of the 2010 season. Lee was fortunate enough to get a one-year, $7.25 million contract with the Orioles last winter, but with MLB general managers beginning to shy away from aging veteran sluggers, he’ll be lucky if he gets half that in his next deal.
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.