Last month the A’s bought left-hander Brad Mills from the Brewers for the princely sum of one dollar. Then, after promoting him to the majors and giving him three starts the A’s designated him assignment. And now the Blue Jays have claimed Mills off waivers.
Mills actually began his career in Toronto. He was the Blue Jays’ fourth-round pick in 2007 out of the University of Arizona and debuted for them in 2007. He’s bounced around a ton since then, including spending time in five organizations since the beginning of last season.
Mills is a marginal big leaguer and at age 29 there’s no real upside to be had, but he held his own in three starts for Oakland and was really good at Triple-A for Milwaukee’s affiliate before being sold for a buck, posting a 1.56 ERA and 77/18 K/BB ratio in 75 innings.
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.