Closer Brian Wilson, formerly of the San Francisco Giants, could return according to manager Bruce Bochy. ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweeted:
Bochy told us the Giants have not closed the door on Brian Wilson
Wilson managed only two innings last season before his season ended, requiring Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Though the Giants went on to win the World Series without him, Wilson was instrumental in the Giants’ championship 2010 season, posting a 1.81 ERA with a league-best 48 saves. He did not allow a single run in 11.2 innings during post-season play.
In Wilson’s absence last year, the Giants got 25 saves out of Santiago Casilla and 14 out of Sergio Romo. Casilla was relied upon in the ninth through July, but the Giants relied more and more on Romo as the season rolled into August. He was the go-to guy in the post-season and will be the closer for the 2013 season. If the Giants were to bring Wilson back, he would likely satisfy a middle relief role.
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.