Still thinking the Cubs are going to get in on Prince Fielder? Think again. David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are looking to completely blow things up and that Fielder is not in the offing:
“After speaking with several baseball sources over the past few days I am hearing that a complete and total rebuild of the Cubs is more likely than ever to take place during the remainder of the off-season … [Sean] Marshall along with several other players on the Cubs roster are all being shopped as Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and company look to maximize their value as they look to completely overhaul the team.”
A weak farm system and no real parts that, right now, could form the core of a World Series winning team are what’s forcing their hand, Kaplan writes.
This obviously has big implications for the Cubs over the next couple of years. But boy howdy does it always have some implications for Prince Fielder’s market this winter. I mean really, where does he go?
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.