Jane Lee of MLB.com caught up with former Oakland Athletic Yoenis Cespedes. She got his feelings on the day of the trade that sent him to Boston and how he’s coping since. Cespedes said he almost cried when he found out he was leaving Oakland — his mother did cry — and that he hoped to stay with the A’s for his entire career. Still, he gets that it’s a business and holds no hard feelings.
Quite the opposite, actually. He asked Lee to give a message to his former teammates in Oakland:
“It was a true and sincere honor to have started my career with the Oakland A’s, and I wish the players, the coaching staff, the front office, nothing but the best of luck moving forward and in the postseason, and I hope you win it all. I want you to know it was a great pleasure to play there, and I just want to say thank you to everybody over there.”
That’s a pretty generous and level-headed take there. Of course, should Boston be back in the playoff hunt in 2015, I presume he’ll be far less enthusiastic about wanting to see the Athletics do well.
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.