With option decisions due by midnight Monday, teams are beginning to make things official. We’ll have all of the transactions as they stream in.
Here are some obvious ones.
According to the Associated Press, via the New York Post, the Brewers have declined a $17.5 million mutual option on right-hander Francisco Rodriguez, paying him a $4 million buyout instead.
Rodriguez posted a strong 2.64 ERA and 79/26 K/BB ratio in 71 2/3 innings this season between the Mets and Brewers, and he should draw many suitors on the open market this winter, but $17.5 million is a pretty penny for any reliever — no matter how dominant.
The Brewers also declined a $6 million option on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. He has slugged a total of 29 home runs over the past two seasons, but he’s a poor defender and owns a pitiful .292 career on-base percentage. The next team to give him a try should strongly consider a position change.
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.