Kerry Wood was back at Wrigley Field over the weekend for a ceremony honoring his Cubs career and it sounds like the recently retired right-hander will eventually be rejoining the organization in some capacity.
“We’ve kicked some ideas around, met with and talked to Theo [Epstein] about it,” Wood said, via Sahadev Sharma of ESPN Chicago. “We’re all kinda on the same page and I’m sure we’ll get something done soon and work out all the details. Definitely want to be around and definitely want to be involved.”
Wood, who retired in mid-May, liked playing for the Cubs so much that he turned down bigger contract offers to return as a free agent in 2011 and has talked previously about thinking highly of Theo Epstein in general.
He also mentioned wanting to see the Cubs bring Sammy Sosa back into the fold at some point, but those odds seem quite a bit longer.
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.