Ushering in a “new day” for the Mets is a bit more difficult than GM Sandy Alderson anticipated. Per Mike Puma of the New York Post on Twitter, the Mets are dealing with “sticker shock” in the current free agent market. Puma writes that the Mets were hoping to pursue free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta on a two-year deal but were disappointed to find out he is asking for three years.
If the season were to start tonight, the Mets would be utilizing Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Tejada posted a .519 OPS in 227 plate appearances in the Majors in 2013.
Puma is also hearing that the Mets are eyeing free agent Phil Hughes over Bronson Arroyo at this point, which makes sense if the Mets are surprised by the market. Hughes is looking to rebuild his value after a disappointing seven-year stint in the Bronx. Arroyo, who turns 37 years old in February, is looking for what may be his last free agent contract after posting a sub-4.00 ERA in each of the past two seasons.
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.