Former big-league catcher Scott Servais, the Rangers’ director of player development since Dec. 2005, is leaving to become the apparent No. 2 man in the Angels front office, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports.
The 44-year-old Servais will join the newly hired Jerry Dipoto in Anaheim as an assistant GM. The two were briefly batterymates in Colorado in 2000. That was Dipoto’s last year in the bigs, and they were only on the active roster together for the month of April. Servais went on to play one more year in 2001. He hit .245/.306/.375 with 63 homers in a big-league career that spanned 11 seasons.
Very well regarded for his work in aiding a Texas farm system that has become one of the best in the majors, Servais is viewed by some as a future general manager.
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.