An hour or so ago I posted about how the Mariners are scouting Marlon Byrd. After reading this story from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, however, maybe they should send scouts elsewhere:
Byrd has some control over where he could be traded, though not as much control as Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, who have full no-trade rights, and not as much as Papelbon, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, who all can block deals to more than half the teams in baseball. Note: Papelbon says his no-trade clause (he can block deals to 17 teams) will not get in the way of his moving to a contender.
Byrd’s contract allows him to block deals to four teams. He revealed to CSNPhilly.com that those teams are Seattle, Kansas City, Toronto and Tampa Bay.
Bats are hard to come by, of course, so I’m sure the Phillies can, if they want, find a trading partner who does not present such difficulty.
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.