ESPN’s T.J. Quinn reported yesterday that Alex Rodriguez’s representatives were negotiating a possible settlement with MLB in regard to a suspension for his ties to Biogenesis. However, it appears that talks have broken down.
This seems to jibe with the latest update from Quinn, which says that Rodriguez’s representatives and MLB “aren’t anywhere close” to agreeing on the length of a suspension. Key for Rodriguez is that he wants to maximize the $100 million remaining on his contract with the Yankees.
As Craig Calcaterra reported yesterday, MLB is prepared to ban Rodriguez for life if a settlement isn’t reached. This would force him to fight the league through arbitration, where he could still be handed a lengthy suspension. Bud Selig has reportedly considered using the “best interests of baseball clause” to keep him off the field if he appeals.
There should be an announcement on a suspension any day now, but it sounds like the drama is just beginning.
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.