For that I am quoting Rays Index, which quotes Peter Gammons on MLB Network regarding the Pirates alleged offer to the Rays for David Price:
“Most people thought the Pirates offer, which was all about prospects and minor leaguers, might have been greater in terms of talent and that the Pirates were much closer to getting Price than we realize. But the way that the Rays look at it in Franklin and in Smyly, they get two current Major League players who are under control for a long time [and] cost efficient.”
To which I say the same thing, more or less, I said about the Red Sox’ return for Jon Lester yesterday: it makes total sense if you assume, as the Rays likely assume, that they have a good chance to contend in 2015. The AL East is fluid, the Rays will be getting some of their injured starters back next year and, while keeping David Price would be both an expensive and very short term proposition for them, there is no reason for the Rays to assume the next time they reach the playoffs will be years from now. Smyly and Franklin will help next year.
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.