CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney reports that the Cubs have signed Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion to a five-year, $6 million contract.
Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald reported in early February that the deal was done, but it apparently took a little while to make everything final.
Concepcion, 20, was named Rookie of the Year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional last season after posting a 3.36 ERA in 101 2/3 innings. He defected from Cuba to Mexico in June and became a major league free agent in mid-January. The Cubs will probably get him started this year at a lower rung of Single-A.
UPDATE, 3:18 PM: According to beat writer Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the deal comes with a $3 million signing bonus and the other $3 million is spread across the five-year deal.
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.