Alexi Ogando has moved back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation for Texas during the past two seasons, making 30 starts and 59 relief appearances while thriving in both roles, and now T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers “are determined” to use him as a starter in 2013.
Ogando has a 3.49 ERA as a starter and a 2.53 ERA as a reliever, and with both Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz out following arm surgeries the Rangers’ have a bigger need in the rotation even if they sign a prominent free agent starter. Their own free agent starters, Ryan Dempster, Roy Oswalt, and Scott Feldman, aren’t expected back in Texas.
Ogando has previously said he’d prefer to start and made the All-Star team as a starter in 2011.
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.