Jon Heyman reports that Ruben Amaro is telling other GMs that it will take their “three or four best prospects” to land Cliff Lee “plus you’d have to take all the money.”
That’s an insane price, of course. No one trades the top four of their prospect list for a guy owed between $50-75 million (depending on options) AND picks up the salary. By even suggesting it — assuming he is and Heyman’s source isn’t pulling his leg — he’s almost mocking the idea of trading Cliff Lee. Which, yes, points for style, but doesn’t seem to be consistent with a notion that he’d actually trade his ace.
Still: remember a couple of weeks ago when Amaro was quoted saying that he didn’t believe in those top-whatever prospect lists? If he truly doesn’t and if he truly is asking for the top-whatever from your prospect list, I feel like you could really dupe him in a Cliff Lee deal.
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.