Everyone wants Ryan Braun to come clean. But he says he can’t. At least not yet:
Pouliot makes a great point on Twitter: it may very well be the case that Braun is quite happy to be gagged over all of this as it keeps him from having to either face the media or be seen as actively avoiding it.
That said: I hope this gag order doesn’t speak to an overall policy by MLB that no one will be talking about the specifics of these cases at some point in the future. Because as I’ve mentioned a number of times in the past few days, the process which led to Braun getting a 65-game suspension is less-than-clear and not explicitly laid out in the CBA or the JDA. I think the league should let us know how and why they diverted from the standard 50-game suspension for first-time discipline and whether that’s something that will continue to happen with drug cases, be they Biogenesis or non-Biogenesis cases.
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.