Now that the World Series has concluded and the champagne-soaked streets of Boston have begun to dry, members of the Red Sox coaching staff can begin adding their names to interview lists for the various managerial vacancies around the majors.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo plans to do just that, interviewing for the Cubs’ opening “most likely early this week” on the north side of Chicago.
Lovullo played for the Tigers, Yankees, Angels, Mariners, Athletics, Indians and Phillies over the course of an eight-year major league playing career and has served as a manager and coach at multiple levels of MLB-affiliated ball since. He was a candidate to become the Dodgers’ manager back in 2006 before Los Angeles opted for Grady Little and he was considered a finalist to become the skipper of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007 before that gig went to John Russell.
Chicago has already interviewed former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and former Nationals manager Manny Acta. Brad Ausmus also interviewed and was thought to be a favorite at one point, but he just agreed to replace Jim Leyland in Detroit.
The Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum at the end of the 2013 regular season after two disappointing 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.