Veteran infielder Geoff Blum hasn’t formally retired from baseball, but that’s probably coming soon. Here’s MLB.com beat writer Brian McTaggart:
Geoff Blum, who played five years with the Astros in two separate stints with the club, has reached an agreement to join the club’s television broadcast team, a source has told MLB.com.
Blum is expected to be behind the microphone for about 60 games a year this year, filling the role of color analyst when Bill Brown isn’t in the booth.
Blum appeared in only 17 games — and started just five — with the Diamondbacks last season because of a serious left oblique injury.
And he hit .143 with a .336 OPS when he wasn’t on the disabled list.
The California native tallied 990 hits, 99 home runs and 479 RBI over the course of his 14-year major league career. He has big shoes to fill in Houston, where he’ll play a part in replacing fan favorite Jim Deshaies, who took a job in the Cubs’ television broadcast booth earlier this offseason. Blum is 39 years old.
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.