Even when the Marlins owner supposedly issued orders for his underlings to stay mum these winter months, Loria hangs in the air at events like Monday’s like passed gas that just won’t pass away.
— Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel, noting how the awful experience of the public funding Jeff Loria’s new ballpark for the Marlins is now creating headaches for the Miami Dolphins as they try to get the public to go in halfsies with them on renovations to their stadium.
Stinks for the Dolphins if what went down with the Marlins screws up their plans. But on the bright side, if Loria does nothing else in his life besides make it impossible for teams to get taxpayer-funded perks, he’s done at least one good deed, however unwittingly.
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.