Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that Michael Young is still deciding whether to continue his career or retire. The infielder said that if he does decide to keep playing, it’s “a safe bet” that he will do so with the Dodgers. He will make his decision prior to the start of spring training.
Young joined the Dodgers at the end of August last year after being traded by the Phillies for pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Young made a few starts at various positions around the infield for the Dodgers in the final month while also serving as a pinch-hitter in games he didn’t start. Between the Phillies and Dodgers, Young posted a .279/.335/.395 line in 565 plate appearances. That’s hardly a poor line, but his defense has been sinking his value for a long time. (Baseball Reference has him with -74 fielding runs over the last five seasons, for example.) Young, now 37, would still be serviceable in a strict pinch-hitting role.
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.