John Lannan wants the Nationals to trade him and they’d be glad to if someone would take his $5 million salary off their hands, but instead he’s stuck in the minors and didn’t help his cause much yesterday in his first Triple-A start.
Lannan lasted just two innings against the Yankees’ affiliate, giving up five runs to a lineup that included No. 3 hitter Steve Pearce and cleanup man Jack Cust. He managed to strike out just one of the 14 batters he faced, allowing six hits and two walks.
If there’s truly almost zero market for Lannan right now the Nationals are probably better off keeping him as rotation insurance, as dumping him to save a few bucks or acquire a marginal prospect has limited value at this point and he could still come in handy if a starter goes down with an injury. Still, it’s remarkable how far he’s fallen after being the Opening Day starter in both 2009 and 2010 before throwing 185 innings with a 3.70 ERA last year.
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.