We’ve heard the Marlins connected with all manner of free agents. But how a trade rumor? Here’s one: Miami is talking with the Athletics about Gio Gonzalez
David Villavicencio is the man with this report, and he says that sources close to Gonzalez are telling him that the two teams are talking trade for the lefty. It’s not clear from the report that a deal is imminent, but Villavicencio reports that three different players have been discussed as potential pieces for the deal and that all three “played significant time with the Marlins last season.” Not all three would be part of a potential trade.
Such a trade would make all kinds of sense for everyone involved. The A’s are — as always — looking to get a lot of talent in return for someone they soon won’t be able to afford, and Gonzalez is worth a boatload on the trade market right now. Meanwhile the Marlins, despite playing footsie with Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes, really need starting pitching, and Gonzalez would upgrade the rotation in major fashion.
Oh, and let us not forget: the Marlins are all about building a strong local brand, and Gonzalez is a Miami native.
Stay tuned to this one. Because even if the Marlins aren’t ready to pull the trigger on this, there are any number of teams who would like to get in on the Athletics selling off their best pitcher.
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.