Results tagged ‘ nationals ’

Nats’ Lobaton could get more playing time

By Bill Ladson

NEW YORK — Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton started Sunday’s game against the Mets. It marked the fourth time in the last eight games that Lobaton was inserted into the starting lineup.

Manager Matt Williams said recently said that he hasn’t ruled out Lobaton getting more playing time behind the plate. He is already Gio Gonzalez’s personal catcher. Wilson Ramos, the team’s starting catcher, is not having a good year defensively and in a 5-for-55 [.091] slump to drop his batting average to .234.

“It depends on where we are at, Williams said about the catching situation. “It depends on matchups, where we are at. The deeper lineup allows us to have more flexibility in that regard, too.”

Marlins interested in K-Rod?

The Marlins are showing interest in free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez, reports’s Joe Frisaro.

Miami has been in contact with Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras, though nothing is imminent, according to Frisaro.

Rodriguez, 33, saved 44 games with the Brewers last season. He would add a quality and proven arm to the back of the Marlins’ bullpen. Steve Cishek remains the closer, but Rodriguez would be a strong fallback option.

The Marlins actually came into $1 million when they won their arbitration hearing with Mat Latos. The pitcher filed for $10.4 million, and Miami countered at $9.4 million. The ruling went in favor of the club.

Miami could use that extra money on Rodriguez. Rafael Soriano might be another option, Frisaro tweets.

Soriano, 35, had 32 saves with the Nationals last season. He’s totaled 117 saves over the last thee years with the Nats and Yankees. The right-hander has a lifetime 2.85 ERA over 13 seasons in the Majors.

–Austin Laymance

Report: Money in last 3 years of Scherzer deal deferred

Max Scherzer’s seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals became official on Wednesday, and a day later, more details emerged about the biggest deal ever awarded to a free-agent pitcher.

It had been reported previously that half of the money in the contract would be deferred until after the seven years is up, following the 2021 season. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported on Thursday that Scherzer will make $10 million this season, then $15 million per year from ’16-’18. For the final three years of the deal, his salary will jump to $35 million annually, except that all of that money will be deferred, without interest.

Scherzer, who won’t receive a no-trade clause, also gets a $50 million signing bonus, spread out over the course of the seven years. In addition, he will receive bonuses for various accomplishments, including $250,000 for a Cy Young, MVP or World Series MVP award.

— Andrew Simon

Belisario getting interest from multiple teams

The Red Sox, Nationals, Blue Jays and Rays have shown interest in free-agent reliever Ronald Belisario, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Belisario, 32, spent time as a closer for the White Sox in 2014 and recorded eight saves. The right-hander had a 5.56 ERA in 62 appearances. The White Sox designated him for assignment in November.

The Red Sox are looking for a right-handed option to fill out their bullpen, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so Belisario could be a fit in Boston. Meanwhile, the Nationals and Blue Jays have also shown interest in free-agent reliver Burke Badenhop.

–Austin Laymance

Nationals, Blue Jays interested in Burke Badenhop

There a number of clubs still looking for bullpen help on the free-agent market. The Nationals and Blue Jays are among those teams and have both shown interest in veteran right-hander Burke Badenhop, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Badenhop, 31, made 70 appearances with the Red Sox last season and had a 2.29 ERA. He’s pitched for four different clubs in each of the last four years.

The Red Sox were linked to Badenhop earlier in the offseason. Boston remains in the market for right-handed relief, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Dodgers and Brewers are still looking for bullpen help, too.

–Austin Laymance

Would the Nationals trade Stephen Strasburg?

The Nationals made a big splash by agreeing to a seven-year, $210 million deal with free-agent starting pitcher Max Scherzer. Now speculation is growing in regards to what the Nats will do with the rest of their loaded rotation, which currently includes: Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez.

A report surfaced Monday regarding Strasburg’s future with the Nationals, with USA Today reporter John Perrotto tweeting that Strasburg is “very much available and both sides believe it is time to move on.”

However, a baseball source told’s Bill Ladson that the chances the Nationals would trade Strasburg are “remote.”

Washington Post reporter Adam Kilgore also weighed in on the matter, tweeting his belief that the Nats would listen to potential deals for their starting pitchers but not feel forced to trade any.

Strasburg, 26, is under team control through the 2016 season. He signed a one-year, $7.4 million deal last week for the 2015 season, avoiding arbitration. The right-hander was 14-11 with a 3.14 ERA in 34 starts last season. The Nats drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

The Nationals appear inclined to keep Zimmermann and go all-in for the 2015 season, even though he is eligible for free agency after the season and will earn $16.5 million this year.

So if Washington plans to keep Zimmermann and take a shot at the World Series, would they really part ways with Strasburg? At this point, it’s only speculation.

–Austin Laymance 

Nationals to keep Jordan Zimmermann?

There has been lots of speculation surrounding Jordan Zimmermann’s future with the Nationals after the club signed free-agent starting pitcher Max Scherzer to a seven-year deal.

Many around baseball figured the Nationals would move Zimmermann and his $16.5 million contract for the 2015 season. The right-hander could become a free agent after the season. But Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Nats plan to hold on to Zimmermann this year.

The Nationals appear to be going all-in this season, so keeping Zimmermann in the rotation fulfills that plan. He’s been one of baseball’s best starters over the last three seasons. A two-time All-Star, Zimmermann was 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 32 starts last year, including a no-hitter in the final game of the regular season.

With Scherzer on board and the possibility of Zimmermann sticking around, the Nationals’ rotation would arguably become the best in the game. Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister project as the other three starters. Scherzer will presumably be replacing Tanner Roark, who posted a 2.85 ERA in nearly 200 innings last year.

–Austin Laymance

Rays to move Zobrist this offseason?

Though it seems to be nothing more than speculation at this point, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi writes that there is a “decent chance” the Rays will trade second baseman Ben Zobrist at some point this offseason.

On the surface, trading Zobrist would certainly make sense for a Rays team that has already had a busy offseason. The versatile infielder is set to turn 34 years old in May and is due to make $7.5 million in 2015 before hitting the free agent market after the season. A number of teams would likely be interested in Zobrist, something that could lead to the Rays moving him this offseason before watching him walk away in free agency next winter.

While nothing has materialized quite yet, Morosi lists the Mets, Nationals, Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, Reds, and Twins as potential fits for Zobrist. Again, there is nothing concrete to report on this front as of right now, but it simply seems to be the next logical step for the Rays and is something worth monitoring into the New Year.

— Paul Casella

Report: Nationals add Bell on Minor League deal

The Nationals have signed veteran reliever Heath Bell to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.

Bell, 37, appeared in 13 games this year with the Rays, his 11th season in the big leagues. The right-hander has a career 3.49 ERA and 168 saves. He has pitched for four different teams — Padres, Marlins, D-backs, Rays — over the last four seasons.

Bell struggled in his limited appearances in 2014, allowing 14 earned runs over 17 1/3 innings. It was the first year since 2008 in which he did not record a save. He was a three-time All-Star with the Padres from 2009-11.

Pitchers and catchers report to Nationals Spring Training on Feb. 19.

–Austin Laymance

Phillies considering Asdrubal Cabrera?

The Phillies could use another option at shortstop now that Jimmy Rollins has been traded to the Dodgers.

Asdrubal Cabrera appears to be a possibility for the Phillies, who would need to clear some payroll to sign the free agent, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Cabrera, 29, can play both shortstop and second base. He split last season between the Indians and Nationals, hitting a combined .307 with 14 home runs, 31 doubles and four triples. He was an All-Star in 2011-12 with Cleveland.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday that Freddy Galvis will have the first opportunity to replace Rollins in 2015. However, Amaro did not rule out the possibility of adding another option to the mix at short.

A number of teams have shown interest in Cabrera this offseason, including the A’s, Cardinals, Giants, Mets and Twins, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. It appears the Phillies are now in that group of potential suitors, too.

–Austin Laymance