At least it’s not all bad news on the Royals injury front today.
They lost starter Felipe Paulino to what will likely be season-ending Tommy John surgery, but the Royals also activated catcher Salvador Perez from the disabled list three months after he underwent knee surgery in spring training.
Perez was initially given a 12-14 week recovery timetable and made it back right on schedule, hitting .340 in 12 games during a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the DL.
Perez was fantastic in a 39-game debut last season, hitting .331 with an .834 OPS as a 22-year-old rookie, and then signed a long-term contract that keeps him under the Royals’ control through 2019. He’ll come back down to earth offensively, but Perez’s defense has always been his calling card anyway and he has the potential to develop into one of the league’s top all-around catchers.
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.