“Pitching, pitching, pitching.”
Those were the words of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman earlier this week, fresh off wrapping up a contract extension for ace left-hander CC Sabathia.
The Yankees haven’t been shy about their focus this offseason, so it comes as no surprise that Cashman told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he plans to talk to free agent left-hander C.J. Wilson.
“We haven’t talked to him yet, but we will,” Cashman said. “They have won a lot and he’s been a big part of that, so we’ll certainly talk to him.”
Of course, just because the Yankees will talk to Wilson doesn’t mean a deal will actually happen. The 30-year-old southpaw is considered the top target in a weak free agent class for starting pitching, so Cashman wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t talk to the guy. And hey, it never hurts a free agent to have the big-spending Yankees involved in the conversation.
Wilson has a 3.14 ERA since joining the starting rotation in 2010, but really struggled this postseason, going 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA and 26/19 K/BB ratio over 28 innings. Cashman isn’t ready to write him off as an option, though, telling Martin that Wilson “has shown he can perform in a hitters’ environment in Texas.”
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.