David Ortiz is poised to hit free agency. And, no surprise, he wants a multi-year deal. He said this to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald:
“Yeah, of course, it’s something I don’t want to be worried about anymore … If I can play, I can play. You can’t take that away from me. I think it’s easier for me not to be answering the questions you’re asking me right now the whole year.”
Ortiz has been down this road before: he’s wanted multi-year extensions in the past and the Red Sox haven’t been willing, probably thinking that Ortiz could hit a wall at any time. But despite some partial-year slumps, he’s come roaring back and stands now as the Sox’ best hitter. Before his injury this year: .318/.415/.611 with 23 home runs, 60 RBI and a 1.026 OPS in 90 games. He’s gonna get paid by someone.
That said, given the fact that there will be interleague all season going forward, I wonder if Ortiz will be one of the last of the truly full-time DHs. I wonder if this is the last monster deal a DH signs. Probably not, but it is weird to see how few of his ilk are around the game.
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.