Davey Johnson agrees to contract with Nationals, plans to retire after 2013

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UPDATE: It’s official. The Nationals announced this morning that Johnson will return as manager in 2013 before shifting into a consultant role for 2014.

3:45 PM, Friday: Whatever drama there was surrounding Davey Johnson’s contract negotiations with the Nationals is over, as Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the two sides have agreed to a new deal and adds that 2013 will likely be the 70-year-old’s final season as a manager.

Johnson went more than a decade without managing before taking over the Nationals from Jim Riggleman in mid-2011 and has a 138-107 (.563) record in Washington that includes an NL-best 98 wins this year.

Johnson hinted that this season might have been his final one if the Nationals had won the World Series and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Johnson is expected to resume his role as a special advisor to the front office after retiring as manager. And do lots of fishing too, of course.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.