Jack Morris missed out on the Hall of Fame for the 15th and final time a little over two weeks ago. For someone who came so close — within eight percent of the 75 percent threshold in 2013 balloting — it might seem frustrating, but it sounds more like a relief to Jack Morris. Morris, though, says he is tired of being under the microscope. Via Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press:
“I’m relieved,” Morris said. “I’m glad. I’m tired of getting scrutinized by writers.”
“Fifteen years ought to be long enough for anybody, you know?” Morris said. “If it’s not going to happen in 15 years, it’s not going to happen.”
Morris can still enter the Hall of Fame starting in December 2016, if the Veterans Committee deems him worthy. It’s hard to see Morris getting snubbed again by the Veterans Committee, particularly since Gil Hodges is the only player to get more than 50 percent of the vote to not eventually get into the Hall of Fame, according to Tom Tango. Tony Oliva had the second-highest vote percentage among snubs at 47 percent.
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.