Brewers general manager Doug Melvin admitted yesterday that he recently chatted on the phone with Zack Greinke, leading to speculation that the free agent returning to Milwaukee might be possible.
Melvin stressed that he simply likes talking baseball with Greinke–which is something he’s said in the past as well–and added that the right-hander “didn’t tip his hand” in terms of a potential landing spot.
As for the rumors, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes that they’re much like the previous rumors linking the Brewers to Josh Hamilton, calling them both “a long shot.”
Melvin himself downplayed the chances of signing Hamilton and McCalvy notes that the Brewers “are in the process of paring payroll after pushing over $100 million last season for the first time in club history.”
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.