The Los Angeles Angels have acquired veteran pitcher Jim Johnson and $1.21 million in international spending money from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitcher Justin Kelly, per a press release posted on twitter by the Braves.
Johnson, 34, will help bulk up the Angels' bullpen as they look to be contenders next season. Johnson has played the closer role in the past, and will likely be a late-inning reliever for the Halos. The righty has shown that he has a consistent fastball, which hits 93-95 mph on the radar gun.
Johnson had a tough year in his first season of a two-year, $10 million deal. He struggled with a 5.56 ERA in 61 relief appearances. Since joining the Braves in 2015, the veteran had a 3.67 ERA and 51 saves in 175 games. Johnson has not been able to pitch like his glory days with the Baltimore Orioles, when he was the American League saves leader twice.
In exchange for Johnson, the Braves will receive 2016 first-rounder, Justin Kelly. Kelly, 24, pitched in five levels within the Angels' organization last season. In 63 2/3 innings, Kelly had a 6-4 record with a 3.53 ERA, in 25 games.
The Angels will likely use the international spending money they will receive to pursue Japenese pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani.
The Oakland Athletics and veteran pitcher Yusmeiro Petit have agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal also includes a club option for the 2020 season and is pending a physical.
The deal's financial terms come out to $3.5 million in 2018, $5.5 million in 2019, and a $5.5 million club option in 2020 with a $1 million buyout.
Petit, 33, will come in handy for the Athletics because he is a versatile pitcher. He can come into a game early on and give a team at least three-four innings, he can be used as a spot starter, and he can be used as a late-inning reliever, given his dominant 2016 with the Los Angeles Angels. Petit will also serve as a mentor for the A's young pitching staff.
During the 2016 season, Petit was one of the Angels' most reliable pitchers. In 91 1/3 innings pitched, Petit struck out 101 batters and had a 2.76 ERA. Petit impressed with a minimal walk rate, as he walked just 1.8 hitters per every nine innings.
Petit has been around the majors for a while. He debuted with the Florida Marlins in 2006, and has also played with the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Fransisco Giants, Washington Nationals, and the LA Angels. During his ten year career, Petit has a career ERA of 4.31 and a record of 28-34.
The Minnesota Twins and veteran catcher Bobby Wilson have agreed to a minor league deal, a source confirmed to Strike3baseball.com. "@RosterRoundup" on Twitter was first to report that the two sides have agreed to a deal.
Wilson, 34, will enter spring training with a shot to make the Twins' opening day roster. The Twins currently have veteran Jason Castro starting at the catcher position, with newcomer Mitch Garver backing him up. If the Twins look for a more veteran presence with their young team next season, it is very possible that Wilson could be Castro's backup in late March.
Wilson has bounced around the league since he made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2008. Wilson has played in five different uniforms throughout his eight year career. Those teams are the Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and Detroit Tigers.
In those eight seasons, Wilson has hit .214 with 16 home runs and 84 RBIs. Regarding Wilson's defensive side he has only committed 12 errors in over 2100 innings in the big leagues. Even though he is an excellent fielder and great pitch-framer, he is a little slow to throw runners out. In 165 stolen base attempts, Wilson has only thrown out 37% of those runners.
The Texas Rangers and veteran right hander Doug Fister have agreed to terms, pending a physical, per Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. The deal is a one-year deal, worth $4 million, and can escalate to $7 million, due to incentives, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The deal also includes a team option for the 2019 season.
Fister, 33, spent his 2017 season playing with the Boston Red Sox. Fister was claimed off waivers in the middle of the season by Boston, and helped surge them to win the American League East Division. Fister pitched 90 1/3 innings and had a 4.88 ERA.
Fister will help the Rangers solve their starting pitching needs. The Rangers seem to lack durable starters, after Yu Darvish was traded to the Dodgers and Andrew Cashner hit the free agency market. Fister will pitch alongside veteran Cole Hamels and Martin Perez with the Rangers, as they look to overtake the reigning world champion, Houston Astros, in the AL West division.
Fister has played with the Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros over a span of nine seasons. He owns a record of 82-85, and a 3.68 ERA in the big leagues.
Veteran Outfielder Andre Either is not planning to retire, despite Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reporting that he is. Murray mentioned that Either had told friends and family that he is set to retire from Major League Baseball. Either and agent, Nez Bazelo, have come out and said that Either will play in 2018, as multiple teams have shown interest in signing him.
Either has not been able to play like his all-star self over the past two seasons. The 35 year old has played only 38 games since the start of the 2016 season.
Either was bought out by his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, earlier this offseason. His buyout was worth $2.5 million. He had one year left on his deal, which would have been worth $17.5 million, had he not been bought out.
Either has played a total of 12 seasons in the big leagues, with all of them wearing Dodger blue. He has hit 162 home runs and 687 RBIs, while hitting .285.
His best years came during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He was selected to play in the all star game both years, when he hit .292 in consecutive seasons. He hit 23 dingers, then 11 in respective seasons.
Assuming Either does play in 2018, he will be healthy and will be able to produce like his golden days.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and as a baseball fan, there are a ton of things I should be thankful for on this special holiday.
The Winter Meetings is a special time of year for the baseball community. Executives get to discuss trades and free agency amongst other members of the executive world during this four day period. Baseball fans are extremely attentive to MLB Network during this time of year in December. For example, last season's big question at the meetings was will Chris Sale be traded? He was and the baseball world flipped upside down.
This is the time of year fans should be most thankful for. After a long four month offseason, fans get to see their team up close and see the team's new players. Also, it is another step closer to opening day. Especially kids should be excited for spring training because it is also known to be autograph season.
Opening day is so huge to some baseball fans, that there was a petition a few years ago to make it a national holiday. Next season's opening day is on March 31st, with the Marlins hosting the Cubs at 12:30 pm ET, so fans will have to wait four months for this day to occur. Fans should be very thankful for this day because each team starts the season in first place and the chase for the pennant begins!
The Seattle Mariners have acquired infielder Ryon Healy from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHP Emilio Pagan and infielder Alexander Campos.
Healy, 25, put together a great stat line in Oakland, this past season. He hit .271 with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs. Healy has only played in 222 games in his two year career, with 149 of those games coming from last season. He has shown that he is a power hitter with a lot of potential in the future. In those 222 games, he has hit 38 home runs.
It is quite unclear why the Athletics want to move on from Healy after just two seasons. He has five more years of control left until he is expected to hit free agency after the 2022 season. Healy does strike out a lot though. He has struck out 22.35% of the time since his call-up during the 2016 season.
Healy and Khris Davis, who stills plays for Oakland, were considered to be the "bash brothers" of the team. Both hit a lot of home runs but constantly found themselves striking out a lot.
Many are not sure what Healy's role will be for the Mariners next season. There is an opening at the first base position, with Dan Vogelbach currently number one on the depth chart. Healy does have some experience playing first base. He played the position 39 times in 2017.
Outfielder Carlos Beltran has announced that he is retiring from Major League Baseball.
Beltran, 40, has played in the big leagues for 20 seasons. He has spent time with the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, and Houston Astros.
During his career, Beltran totaled 2725 hits, 435 home runs, and a .279 batting average. Beltran is also a nine time all-star. Beltran won the rookie of the year award with the Royals in 1999. Beltran most recently won his first World Series with the Astros.
Beltran has a chance to become inducted into the hall of fame in 2023.
Former Phillies and Blue Jays' pitcher Roy Halladay passed away earlier today in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. Halladay was the only person in the small jet and no mayday called made. There is no explanation at the moment for why the plane crashed. The jet was found in six-feet deep water and was flipped upside down.
The 40-year-old pitched in the big leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. During his 16 year career, Halladay won two CY Young awards and finished in the top-5 for Cy Young SEVEN times! Also, Halladay earned the honor of playing in eight all-star games. Halladay threw a perfect game and a no-hitter during his career.
Before Halladay retired in 2013, he had fantastic career numbers, including a 203-105 win-loss record and a 3.38 ERA. Halladay has a chance to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.
Halladay had been residing in Florida and served as a coach for the Calvary Christian of Clearwater baseball team. Halladay leaves behind a wife and kids. I send my condolences to his family and friends.
Astros' pitcher Justin Verlander has once again proven that he one of the best pitchers this century. Since coming over from Detroit in late August, Verlander has shown the world that he belongs in the hall of fame.
During his remarkable postseason run, he has shown major league baseball that at 34-years-old, he can still pitch like an ace. During the Astros' ALCS series against the New York Yankees, he threw a total of 16 innings, including a complete game with 21 strikeouts, one allowed run, and just two walks.
Verlander has the numbers and resume that would many consider an automatic pass into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
If you look at his career numbers, his 188 wins stands out, especially because he has only played in the big leagues for 12 full seasons, excluding his short stint in 2005. He also has 2416 strikeouts in 2545 career innings. He has led major league baseball in strikeouts four times, including the 2009 season when he 269 strikeouts.
He also has been in the top-five for the American League Cy Young five times! He won the award in 2011, and he has finished runner up twice. Also, he won the AL MVP award in 2011. Verlander has appeared in six all-star games, too.
If you compare his numbers to other hall-of-fame pitchers, he has more hall-of-fame points than pitchers like Tom Glavine, Whitey Ford, and Jim Palmer. MLB greats Nolan Ryan and Phil Nierko never won Cy Young awards but they still made it in. Those two for sure had amazing careers but so has Verlander, who has done more than they have!
Many question if Verlander is worth his 2017 salary of $28 million, but if you look at his numbers this season with both the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, he could possibly become another top-5 Cy Young award candidate. He went 15-8, with a 3.36 ERA and 219 strikeouts, in 206 innings. He did all of this at 34-years-old!
I think Verlander is hall-of-fame worthy. He has been one of the best pitchers of 21st century. Verlander is the Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson of this era!