Not that it’s news — Jeff Loria is a horrible, horrible baseball executive and probably a horrible person — but Ken Rosenthal has the most thorough look at the rot in the Marlins front office I’ve seen so far.
Larry Beinfest, Mike Hill and David Samson are all the men responsible, by most estimates, for making the Marlins respectable in past seasons when they had no right to be. They’ve made the most of massive roster gutting and have come up with young stars like Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton which at least provide hope. So of course Loria is jerking them around, leaning toward firing them but not doing it yet, letting them dangle as they ask for clarification on their status.
If they are fired, they will almost find jobs in better organizations and they’ll do well. Maybe Loria knows this, thus the jerking them around. Either way, he’s the absolute worst.
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.