Lynn Henning of the Detroit News reports that the Tigers and free agent closer Brian Wilson are in “serious” negotiations. Henning reports that Wilson met yesterday with Brad Ausmus and Wilson’s agent Dan Lozano in Los Angeles.
Wilson was quite the pickup for the Dodgers after completing his Tommy John rehab. He pitched six scoreless innings in the postseason, striking out eight and allowing four hits. Overall he was 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA, and a 13/4 K/BB ratio in 13.2 innings as the Dodgers’ setup guy.
In addition to the Tigers, the Indians, Rangers, Angels and Mariners have been suggested as possible landing spots for Wilson. If he gets to Detroit, one of the Tigers’ biggest headaches of the past couple of years will be solved. At least on paper.
As for the “serious” conversation? I’m not sure what a “serious” conversation with Wilson looks like. I’ve had two conversations with him in my life. This was the first one. The second one involved him pointing at Willie Mays, who was on the other side of the clubhouse and asking me “who’s that?” When I looked at him he smiled at me, as he was checking to see if I actually thought he didn’t know who Willie Mays was.
So if he’s being serious now, well, that might be the most unsettling thing ever.
(thanks to Allison for the heads up)
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.