The Angels acquired third baseman David Freese from the Cardinals last week and inked reliever Joe Smith to a three-year, $15.75 million free agent contract on Saturday. Now Anaheim is zeroing in on its biggest offseason need — starting pitching.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, the Halos have expressed interest in free agent starters Bronson Arroyo and Bartolo Colon. Arroyo, 36, is said to be seeking a three-year contract. Colon, 40, can probably be had for a one- or two-year deal.
The Angels posted a 4.23 staff ERA in 2013 that ranked 24th in the majors. Only the Blue Jays, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Twins and Astros were worse.
Arroyo registered a 3.79 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 124/34 K/BB ratio in 202 innings with the Reds this past season. Colon had a 2.65 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 117/29 K/BB ratio in 190 1/3 innings with the A’s.
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.