Two months ago Cal Ripken Jr. dropped some hints about wanting to get into managing and now it sounds like the Hall of Famer is into chasing a big-league gig this offseason.
Appearing on WGN Radio in Chicago with David Kaplan yesterday, Ripken said:
The urge to do something in baseball has come back, and I guess I’d be more inclined to listen because I’d be a little bit more interested at this stage, but I haven’t figured that out yet. I have to be very careful how I answer that question because it seems like speculation runs rampant, but it’s an interesting position to be in. But yeah, I think I’d listen a little bit more than I would have certainly three or four years ago.
Ripken’s name alone will cause a lot of media members and fans to want him for their local job opening–for instance here’s a Cubs version–but being a great player doesn’t necessarily lead to being a great manager and in fact more often than not the opposite is true. Plus, in this case Ripken has zero coaching experience, let alone managing experience. Still, it’s certainly an interesting story to track.
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.