Friends of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun spoke to USA TODAY on the condition of anonymity. They said that Braun will soon come clean about everything and apologize to those who got hurt along the way.
From Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY:
Braun, according to his friends, is ready to soon admit that he used performance-enhancing drugs in parts of the 2011 season, the reasons why he did it, and publicly apologize for the lies and deception.
His friends, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because Braun has yet to make the announcement, said he plans to apologize to everyone from Commissioner Bud Selig to urine collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. to his teammates and peers.
And for the first time, he will admit guilt.
The people close to Braun said he is eager to be the anti-Alex Rodriguez and is desperately trying to distance himself from the New York Yankees third baseman.
We learned earlier tonight that a former friend of Braun’s has filed a defamation lawsuit, ostensibly the latest bridge Braun has burned. It will be interesting to see if his new strategy will pay off, if it will help him regain the trust he lost over the last three years.
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.