Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen told the media a few weeks ago that he had spoken to Hanley Ramirez about possibly moving away from shortstop.
Hanley’s defense there has always been a bit spotty and there’s a belief that it will only get worse.
But there will be no position change in 2012.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Marlins president David Samson said Saturday that Ramirez is already locked in as the team’s starting shortstop next season. And that’s not going to change unless the club suddenly goes wild in free agency.
“There has been no conversations with that,” Samson said. “I suppose if we sign a free-agent first baseman who would only sign with us if he could play shortstop, I guess that is the conversation we’d have with all of our players. His range of motion is getting better. He’s improving, and we expect him to be in the lineup on Opening Day.”
Ramirez had a down year offensively in 2011, but the 27-year-old still boasts a fantastic .886 career OPS. He’s expected to be fully recovered from his late-season shoulder surgery by the start of spring training.
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.