Most ballplayers used to have offseason jobs. They had to, because unless you were a star, baseball salaries did not make ends meet. That’s not the case today, of course. Especially if you were a high draft pick who got a $2 million signing bonus. But don’t tell that to Twins pitching prospect Alex Meyer, who spends his offseason substitute teaching for $63 a day.
That story can be read at the Indianapolis Star. In it we learn that he started doing it because he was “bored and had nothing to do,” so his mom — who works for the school system — suggested he do it. And whaddaya know, he likes it and plans on continuing to do it, even as he finds himself heading toward the major leagues.
(thanks to Jeremy E. 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.