Rick Porcello

Padres, Rangers interested in Rick Porcello

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According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Padres and Rangers are the “most active” among teams interested in trading for Tigers’ right-hander Rick Porcello.

I suppose this should make Morosi happy. At least if that activity is exuberant and celebratory. We need far more of that kind of joyous intensity in our trade rumors, guys.

Anyway: R&M report that the Padres made an “aggressive offer” last week, but were turned down. Which is good because if you give in to bullies you only embolden them.

Alright, enough of that nonsense. Go read their report which handicaps the Porcello derby and talks about the sort of return the Tigers are looking for.

My view: I can’t remember the last time a team in serious contention had enough pitching. Heck, even the Reds last year, who had a recent day-historic run of rotation health and stability, found themselves a starter down due to one fluke of bad health in the playoffs.  If I’m the Tigers I keep Porcello, put Drew Smyly down in Toledo and see where things stand in June.  If, in the likely event other holes are found on the team, Porcello could be traded to patch them. As of now: they really don’t what they’ll need over the course of the season.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.