UPDATE: So much for that: Kilgore now reports that the Nationals talked to the Rangers about Torrealba, but “one person involved says ‘it doesn’t look like a fit.'”
Yorvit Torrealba became expendable in Texas once the Rangers acquired Geovany Soto from the Cubs last night and after being designated for assignment he’s expected to be traded today.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals will likely be in touch with the Rangers about Torrealba as they search for some catching depth after losing Wilson Ramos for the season.
Right now Jesus Flores is Washington’s starting backstop, but he’s hit just .224 with a .588 OPS in 64 games and his backup, Sandy Leon, is a 23-year-old rookie with a poor minor-league track record.
Torrealba is owed about $1.5 million for the remainder of this season and the 34-year-old veteran topped a .700 OPS in three straight seasons before his production dropped off this 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.