I believe I heard the first Jeremy Guthrie trade rumor in the summer of 1984. I had just turned 11, got a copy of the Sporting News and read that the the Orioles were talking to some teams about dealing him but would, inevitably, just hold on to him so they could have an innings eater while the young arms develop.
Yes, I realize that Guthrie did not make his major league debut for another 20 years. But such is the nature of Jeremy Guthrie trade rumors. They will outlive us all.
Anyway, Jon Paul Morosi said the Angels and Orioles have discussed the possibility of a Guthrie trade in recent days. And really, when you’re a team like the Angels and you already have pretty strong starting pitching, you don’t pass up an opportunity to trade for a guy who led the league in losses two of the past three years.
OK, I kid because it’s fun to kid. Guthrie has his uses. He’d have more uses if he got out of Camden Yards and into the AL West, but I really don’t see why the Angels would be that interested.
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.