Remember Steven Cohen? He’s the billionaire hedge fund guy who (a) bought a minority interest in the Mets; then (b) tried to buy the Dodgers; and (c) turned south to San Diego and the Padres when that didn’t work?
Unlucky for him that he couldn’t become a baseball owner no matter how hard he tried. Not so unlucky for Major League Baseball:
U.S. officials for the first time Tuesday implicated Steven A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, in an alleged insider-trading scheme they said was the most lucrative ever to be charged.
Traders in his firm had been tied up with this for a while, but he had been said not to have had any part in it. Cohen is not a defendant in the case, but he’s now mentioned in the criminal complaint as “Investor A” and will likely be a big part of the criminal prosecution coming out of this mess.
Can you imagine if he had got the Dodgers and couldn’t make it to some owners meeting because of a criminal subpoena? Yeah, that woulda been awesome.
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.