Toronto has been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball, sitting in last place at 59-73 following an offseason full of huge moves, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters today that manager John Gibbons’ job is not in jeopardy.
“I actually think, the in-game managing, he has done a great job,” Anthopoulos said, via Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. “I think it’s so easy to pin results on one person. I think it’s convenient. I just don’t think blame falls on one person. There’s blame to share.”
This is Gibbons’ second stint as Blue Jays manager. He previously held the job from mid-2004 to mid-2008, when a different front office regime fired him with a 35-39 record. Overall he’s 364-378 (.491) as Toronto’s manager. And now we know he’ll be back in 2014.
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.