The Royals have let a number of talented players depart via free agency in the past 10-plus offseasons. Hoping to turn a new leaf as an organization, they’re going to try not to do that so much anymore.
According to Dick Kaegel of MLB.com, the Kansas City front office has engaged in exploratory talks toward a long-term extension for Alex Gordon.
Gordon is arbitration-eligible in 2012 and 2013, so there’s no real rush this winter. But the Royals don’t want him to get even a whiff of the open market.
A former second overall draft pick, the 27-year-old outfielder finally realized his potential this year on the way to posting a .303/.376/.502 batting line, 23 home runs, 87 RBI and 17 steals in 688 plate appearances.
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.