Things you forget every couple of years and then are reminded about again: Michael Young being part-Mexican:
Mexico lists Young among the candidates for its [World Baseball Classic] team. Young qualifies because his mother is of Mexican descent. Young has not indicated if he intends to play for Mexico.
Young’s mother — and his wife for that matter — are both of Mexican descent, so this would be way less random than some of the past WBC roster oddities, such as fourth generation dudes playing for team Italy and such.
No word if Young actually has an interest in playing in the WBC. This is just Mexico’s baseball people saying that he’s eligible. Also, no word where he’d play. Which leads to the interesting question of which country he’d demand Mexico trade him to if he did not like which position they asked him to play.
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.