Ever since Hiroki Kuroda came off the notion of playing of the Dodgers or no one else — and that he’d be willing to take a one-year deal someplace — it has been widely speculated that the Yankees would be in on that action. It just makes so much sense. They could use a good starter. Neither side wants a big commitment. It’s like a friends with benefits thing or something.
But not so fast says Wally Matthews of ESPN New York. He hears from sources that the Yankees don’t want to incur any more luxury tax overages and thus won’t bid on Kuroda. Rather, to the extent they have any interest, it’s phony:
Assuming the person is telling me the truth – and I am — any Yankee “interest” in Kuroda is probably designed to drive up the price for the Red Sox.
Know what’s gonna be cute? When the Red Sox are still playing these little cold war games while the Rangers and Angels are cruising to the best records in the American League. It’ll be like England and France arguing over Brittany while the Soviets and the Americans send people into outer space.
OK, maybe that’s overstating it. I’m just bored today and there’s no Phillies news with which to troll anyone. Trolling Yankees and Red Sox fans is a way, way, way distant second place, but it’ll have to do for now.
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.