The Diamondbacks have activated third baseman Eric Chavez from the disabled list. In a corresponding roster move, they have designated Eric Hinske for assignment.
Chavez, 35, had been sidelined with a strained right oblique since the end of May. The injury interrupted a fantastic first two months. Facing right-handed pitching almost exclusively, Chavez hit .325/.368/.588. In his stead, Martin Prado took over every day at third base, starting every game between May 31 and June 22.
Hinske, also 35, was not enjoying his 2013 season. Usually a reliable bat off the bench, he carries a meager .173/.259/.288 slash line, including just nine hits in 45 trips to the plate as a pinch-hitter. This marks his second consecutive season of subpar offense but good lefty bench bats are hard to find, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hinske get a shot with another team.
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.