Last week impending free agent Mark Buehrle talked about how switching to the NL might be appealing after 12 seasons in the AL, but yesterday his agent chimed in to say “we’re not going to eliminate any team from consideration.”
Buehrle needs multiple teams bidding for his services to get the largest possible contract, so saying he wants to re-sign with the White Sox or sign with the hometown Cardinals or switch to the NL … well, all that stuff would just limit his market. Or at least that’s probably his agent’s thinking.
For his part Buehrle told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he’d sign quickly “if the right deal is there” rather than waiting around to see what happens with fellow left-hander C.J. Wilson (and possibly CC Sabathia as well).
Buehrle is coming off a four-year, $56 million contract and both his health and performance have remained stable, so at age 32 a similar deal seems reasonable.
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.