The Dodgers continue to be connected in trade rumors with Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, but they could get one of their own starters back from the disabled list in the near future.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Ted Lilly is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Lilly hasn’t pitched since May 23 due to left shoulder inflammation. The 36-year-old southpaw is expected to pitch two innings on Sunday and will likely need about two or three weeks to get properly stretched out to rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation.
Lilly didn’t make his season debut until April 14 due to a neck injury, but he had a 1.79 ERA across his first seven starts before he was knocked around for eight runs on nine hits and five walks over 3 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on May 23. The Dodgers are hoping they’ll get the good Lilly back soon.
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.