Buster Olney of ESPN says that the Phillies are “very willing” to trade Jimmy Rollins.
Which, sure. But he’s going to make $11 million in 2014 and his biggest strength these days — his durability — pretty much ensures that he’ll reach the plate appearance incentives that will cause his $11 million vesting option for the 2015 season to vest. Last year he hit .252/.318/.348 across in 666 plate appearances. He needs 434 in 2014 for the option to vest. Oh, Rollins is also a 10-5 guy, so he can veto any trade.
Could Rollins be moved? Maybe. But it’s way more likely that someone interested in spending $22 million on a shortstop would do better to go after Stephen Drew, pay a little more and get a lot more out of the bargain.
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.