Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the scoop:
The Mets clandestinely met with free-agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta, according to league sources.
No Mets person would admit there was a meeting with Peralta, but sources on other teams said he did meet with them.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post was told by a Mets executive Wednesday night that Peralta just happened to be in the same town as this week’s GM meetings — Orlando, Florida — and that the Mets’ plan is to meet face-to-face with all of the players they’re interested in acquiring this offseason. That executive said “not to put big stock” in this one specific meeting.
The Mets aren’t satisfied with the production of current shortstop Ruben Tejada, who hit .202/.259/.260 with zero home runs and 10 RBI in 227 plate appearances this year. The 24-year-old could be moved to second base or relegated to a bench role if the Mets are able to make some infield upgrades this winter.
Peralta, 31, batted .303/.358/.457 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI across 448 plate appearances this summer for Detroit. He was hit with a 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension in early August.
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.