Results tagged ‘ nationals ’
The Mariners reportedly “remain a possibility” as a potential landing spot for Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com.
Seattle is known to be looking to add more offense this offseason and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported late Tuesday night that he was “hearing rumblings” that the M’s were “closing in on” a trade for another hitter. Crasnick had no other details at the time and it’s unclear whether or not that potential trade he was referencing involved Desmond.
The Mariners have been linked to a number of shortstop rumors this offseason, though those reports mostly involved the club moving one of its own — not bringing in another one. They currently have Brad Miller and Chris Taylor set to battle for the Opening Day job, though Desmond would certainly seem to represent an upgrage over either option.
As for the Nationals, they could be willing to move Desmond this offseason instead of risking losing him to free agency next offseason. He’s owed $11 million next season and, more importantly, he and the Nats haven’t made much progress in their extension talks this offseason.
This appears to be nothing more than speculation at this point, but the potential is certainly there for talks to develop further.
– Paul Casella
The Rangers have acquired left-hander Ross Detwiler from the Nationals in exchange for two Minor League players, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Washington reportedly will receive an infielder and a reliever in the deal. Neither club has confirmed the report.
Detwiler, who turns 29 in March, is coming off a down year in which he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen. He put together a 4.00 ERA in 63 innings over 47 appearances, striking out 39 batters and walking 21.
Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 Draft, went 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 13 starts in 2013, but he pitched well as a starter in 2011-12. The Rangers have made starting pitching a priority this offseason.
The Nationals, meanwhile, didn’t seem to have a spot for the lefty. Detwiler, projected to make $3.3 million in 2015, is under team control for only one more season as he enters his third year of arbitration eligibility.
Ian Desmond could be on the move.
The Nationals are reportedly working on a deal that would send the shortstop to Seattle, though the Mariners are not willing to include right-hander Taijuan Walker or left-hander James Paxton, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.
Washington has discussed Desmond with Seattle more than once this offseason, with the Nats reportedly interested in shortstop Brad Miller, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
The shortstop market is slim, so Desmond would be a strong acquisition for the Mariners.
Desmond is eligible for free agency following the 2015 season. The Nationals tried to negotiate a multi-year extension with Desmond in the past, but nothing came to fruition. Still, he made it clear Tuesday that he would prefer to stick with the Nats and resolve his contract situation soon.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he met with Desmond’s agent during the Winter Meetings, but revealed little else about any possible negotiations.
Desmond, 29, is the longest-tenured player on the Nationals. He was a third-round pick of the Expos in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and made his Major League debut in 2009. This year, he hit .255 with 24 home runs, 26 doubles and 91 RBIs.
Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew is drawing varying amounts of interest from at least 10 teams, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The list of teams that have tossed around the idea of signing Drew reportedly includes the Yankees, Mets, Astros, A’s, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Nationals and Marlins. The lack of shortstop depth on the free agent market this offseason has certainly played a part in the vast amount of interested teams.
Despite his struggles this past season, Drew is garnering significantly more interest this offseason than he did a year ago due to the fact that he is not tied to a compensatory draft pick this time around. He went unsigned last winter after rejecting a qualifying offer from the Red Sox before ultimately returning to Boston in late May.
– Paul Casella
The Rangers have expressed interest in Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis, though MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that Texas considered it a “deal breaker” when Atlanta asked for top pitching prospect Alex Gonzalez in return.
Gattis would figure to be a good fit for the Rangers, though they’re understandably unwilling to part with Gonzalez to make it happen. Gonalez, the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, went 12-6 with a 2.66 ERA over 26 combined outings this past season between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco.
The Rangers could continue talks with the Braves regarding Gattis, or even outfielder Justin Upton, but they refuse to give up their top young pitchers in exchange.
Texas is also apparently unwilling to part with second baseman Rougned Odor. In a separate tweet, Sullivan mentions that the Rangers have also reached out to the Nationals regarding Jordan Zimmermann, but adds that the Nats are more inclined to discuss a deal involving Doug Fister. Either way, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nats asked for second baseman Rougned Odor in return and were told he is off limits.
– Paul Casella
The Tigers’ primary focus is on re-signing marquee free agent Max Scherzer, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The market for Scherzer has been relatively quiet so far this offseason, though that’s likely to change over the next 24 hours with fellow free agent starter Jon Lester expected to announce his decision.
Olney writes that the Tigers are not only “prepared to spend big, big dollars” to sign Scherzer, but that they also plan to keep co-ace David Price in the fold for 2015, as well. Again, there has been very little talk surrounding Scherzer to this point as teams wait to see where Lester ends up.
Aside from the Tigers, other teams that have been linked to Scherzer in varying extents include the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, and Blue Jays. The team that ultimately signs Lester will obviously drop off that list.
Regardless, the final cost for Scherzer figures to be enormous, given the amount of deep-pocketed teams that are in the market for an elite starter. Scherzer, keep in mind, turned down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers last spring.
– Paul Casella
Veteran scout Terry Wetzel has joined the Washington Nationals as a special assistant to general manager Mike Rizzo, according to Major League sources.
Wetzel has 32 years of experience scouting, the last 15 with the Colorado Rockies as a special assistant to the general manager. He also spent 17 years with the Kansas City Royals, starting out as an area amateur scout and eventually becoming the Royals scouting director.
A 2011 inductee into the Texas Baseball Scouts Hall of fame, Wetzel was honored as the Ewing Kaufmann scout of the Year with the Royals in 1993, and the Pat Daugherty Scout of the Year award with the Rockies in 2003.
Cubs officials denied a report they were in contact with the Nationals regarding a potential trade for right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. A source told the Chicago Sun-Times that the teams have mutual interest, with the Cubs sending one of their middle infielders to the Nationals for the pitcher. However, a Cubs official told MLB.com Tuesday night that the report was not true. FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal also reported Cubs officials denying the Sun-Times report.
The Cubs are in the market for starting pitching, but are more likely to be exploring the free agent pitchers on the market, including Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields. If the price for those players is too high, they could wait for next year’s free agent market that will include Zimmermann, David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. Theo Epstein has said repeatedly that they are looking at players over the next 15 months, not just this offseason.
Zimmermann, who turns 29 in May, is due to make $16.5 million in 2015, the last year of his contract. He was 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 32 starts in 2014.
– Carrie Muskat
Nats declined to exercise options on LaRoche, Soriano; Cabrera, Hairston, Schierholtz become free agents
WASHINGTON — Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and outfielders Scott Hairston and Nate Schierholtz are now free agents.
The Nationals also declined to exercise their options on first baseman Adam LaRoche and right-hander Rafael Soriano. None of the players are expected to be back with the team in 2015.
LaRoche reached the 90-RBI plateau for the fourth time in his career, but he is not coming back because the Nationals plan to put Ryan Zimmerman at first base. Recently, LaRoche said Zimmerman will be a quality first baseman.
“I think he is going to be an outstanding first baseman. I said that last year,” LaRoche said about Zimmerman. “He has one of the best gloves I’ve ever seen. He is an athlete. When the time comes, whether it’s next year or the following year or this postseason, he can handle that bag for sure.”
Soriano had a 6.48 ERA after the All-Star break. Soriano simply couldn’t keep his slider down in the strike zone and lost his closer’s job to Drew Storen
General manager Mike Rizzo decided to acquire Cabrera from the Indians before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cabrera provided steady defense at second, as Anthony Rendon shifted over to third base.
After coming from Cleveland, Cabrera expressed his desire to play shortstop, but after the Nationals were eliminated from the National League Division Series, he said he was willing to stay at second base. Going to the World Series is more important to him than playing shortstop. It is believed that the Nationals will not pay a lot of money to keep Cabrera.
Hairston and Schierholtz were part of the bench this past season. Hairston got off to a great start, but he tailed off dramatically starting in June and was taken off the roster during the NLDS.
As a pinch-hitter, Schierholtz ranks sixth among active players with at least 150 pinch-hit appearances. He started the season with the Cubs, but after getting released on Aug. 13, he signed a Minor League deal with the Nationals five days later. He made $5 million in 2014. It’s doubtful the Nationals will pay Schierholtz that kind of money in ’15, though he could be back on a Minor League deal.
– Bill Ladson
WASHINGTON — To the surprise of no one, the Nationals picked up Denard Span’s $9 million option Thursday afternoon.
Span said general manager Mike Rizzo called to inform him that he would be back with the team in 2015. Had the Nationals declined the option, Span would have been given a buyout worth $500,000.
“I’ll be back,” Span said by telephone. “I’m very excited. I told Mike I’m excited to be coming back another year. I’m looking forward to working with the coaching staff and getting back with the guys and go on another run.”
Span is one of the reasons the Nationals won their second National League East title in three years. Besides being one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball, Span is one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. He was among the NL leaders in multi-hit games, hits, doubles and stolen bases. Span is a finalist to win his first Gold Glove Award this year.
– Bill Ladson