Remember all that talk about a right elbow issue potentially derailing the Mariners’ new seven-year, $175 million contract extension with staff ace Felix Hernandez? Don’t feel too bad if not because it’s a distant memory for the two main parties involved.
According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told reporters on Wednesday that Felix got a “clean bill of health” from Mariners doctors during his pre-signing physical. “Our doctors were very satisfied,” said Jack Z.
So the elbow thing was either extremely minor or a negotiating tactic. Whatever the case, the M’s have finalized the record extension and will hand the ball to “King Felix” on Opening Day against the A’s.
The 26-year-old righty from Venezuela is now the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history.
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.