Reports from the Dominican Republic earlier had reported that free agent Carlos Zambrano had been signed by the Philadelphia Phillies, but those reports have been squashed. GM Ruben Amaro called the reports “ridiculously premature” per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury.
Amaro had indicated recently that he was searching for pitching help from outside of the organization after Roy Halladay went on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Lefty John Lannan has been on the disabled list since mid-April with a strained left quad. Jonathan Pettibone came up to replace Lannan while Tyler Cloyd made a spot start last night before being sent back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Zambrano recently signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League as he attempts to work his way back on to a Major League team. He pitched for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks in 3.2 innings. In 132.1 innings with the Miami Marlins last year, he posted a 4.49 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 75 walks.
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.