Results tagged ‘ nationals ’

First game is in the books

Derek Lowe picked up where he left off in October and Jason Heyward opened Fredi Gonzalez’s managerial reign in Atlanta with yet another Opening Day home run.

Heyward’s second-inning leadoff homer off Livan Hernandez produced some cushion as Lowe proved strong into the sixth inning and helped the Braves open the season with a 2-0 win over the Nationals at a cold Nationals Park.


–Mark Bowman

Firsts of 2011

First hit: Chipper Jones double, Braves, first inning vs. Washington


First strikeout: CC Sabathia, Yankees, fans Austin Jackson, Tigers, first inning


First RBI: Brian McCann single scores Chipper with first run of 2011, first inning


First sick catch: Yankees CF Curtis Granderson robs Will Rhymes with a diving grab, first inning


First home run: Jason Heyward, Braves, second inning vs. Washington

Let’s get it started

The last time it counted – 149 days ago to be exact – Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz swinging to give the Giants their first World Series title since 1954.

Hot Stove season came and went. Spring Training games were played.

Now, it’s time for a new season.

Opening Day 2011 features six matchups (all times ET): Braves-Nationals at 1:05 p.m.; Tigers-Yankees at 1:05 p.m.; Brewers-Reds at 2:10 p.m.; Angels-Royals at 4:10 p.m.; Padres-Cardinals at 4:15 p.m.; and Giants-Dodgers at 8 p.m. in the ESPN Opening Night game.

The Giants begin their quest to become the first repeat champion since the 1998-2000 Yankees, and the first in the NL to repeat since the 1975-76 Reds. But the Phillies added Cliff Lee, giving them a philthy rotation that could be the best in MLB history. Over in the AL, the Red Sox added some serious firepower in the likes of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.

The 27 other MLB clubs begin today with the same record, the same hopes, the same dreams.  Follow us all day as we chronicle the dawn of a new season, from the first pitch on the East Coast, to the last out in SoCal. Who will rise in October? Buckle up and enjoy The Show.

Roundup: Yankees add Soriano; Pavano still a Twin

It was a throwback in the Bronx on Wednesday, when Rafael Soriano, hefty contract in hand, was introduced as the newest Yankee. The addition was one that Brian Cashman said wasn’t his recommendation, but rather ownership’s; a vestige of the days when the late George Steinbrenner owned the club and famously reserved personnel decisions for himself.
“This certainly will help us try to win a championship, there’s no doubt about that, so that’s in the plus column,” Cashman said of Soriano, who received a three-year, $35 million deal to setup for closer Mariano Rivera. “But I didn’t recommend it, just because I didn’t think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we have. We had a lot of debate about that.”
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine instead worked out the deal with Soriano, which includes out clauses after both of the next two seasons.
 
Cashman also revealed some unexpected news on Wednesday regarding a former pinstripes right-hander, Carl Pavano: there was thought he’d be brought back. Pavano signed a four-year, $39 million contract to pitch in New York before the 2005 season, but because of several injuries, including Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2007, Pavano was limited to 26 starts and 145.2 innings for New York.
“I’ve always felt Pav could pitch here,” Cashman said. “I think he’s shown that he can pitch in difficult circumstances. Bottom line, if he’s healthy, he can pitch.”

Later on Wednesday, Pavano finalized a two-year, $16.5 million contract with the Twins, whom he helped lead to the AL Central championship last season.

He went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA and led the team in wins, along with innings pitched (221). Since being acquired by the Twins in August 2009, Pavano is 22-15 with a 3.97 ERA in 44 starts.

 
Though Pavano decided to re-join the Twins, the Yankees may still have another addition coming: veteran outfielder Andruw Jones. His agent Scott Boras said Wednesday that the Yankees are among several teams that he is speaking with about Jones.
 
The Giants announced the signing of right-hander Santiago Casilla to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Casilla will earn $1.3 million, up from $400,000 last year, when he finished 7-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings. He also stranded 41 of 47 inherited baserunners, the Majors’ second-best ratio.

In other news Wednesday:

  • Entering the last season of a four-year deal, Mets’ shortstop Jose Reyes said he wants to talk an extension as soon as possible. “I don’t want to talk about my contract during the season,” Reyes said Wednesday at a Citi Field Kids charity event. “I want to focus on doing my thing, trying to help this team win a lot of ballgames.”
  • With Jim Thome in Minnesota, the Rangers are still looking for a hitter, Rangers president Nolan Ryan told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “It’s always nice to have a veteran bat off the bench. It gives you an opportunity late in the game if you don’t like the matchups. I’m not sure that person is out there.” Ryan also said an extension for general manager Jon Daniels is a priority.
  • Left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes‘ deal with the A’s is official. According to The Associated Press, the deal is worth a guaranteed $10.5 million over two years, with a $6.5 million club option for 2013. The Nationals’ acquisition of Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs also became official.
  • The Rockies and Joe Crede agreed on a Minor League deal. Crede sat out the 2010 season with a multitude of injuries. He turns 33 in April.
  • Crede’s one-time team, the White Sox, announced the invitation of 14 to big league camp, including right-hander Brian Bruney and Jordan Danks. The latter is the 24-year-old younger brother of White Sox starter John Danks. Jordan hit .245 with 27 doubles, eight homers and 42 RBIs in his first season at Triple-A in 2010.
  • The mother of Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has passed away in the Dominican Republic.

Roundup: Soriano to Yanks as market starts to thin

Spring Training sits firmly on the horizon with just about a month to go until that special day when pitchers and catchers report. It could be a busy month, though, for several teams who are still looking to add a key piece or two to their roster for 2011.
One of those teams is the Yankees, who pulled by far the biggest move of Thursday, agreeing to terms with reliever Rafael Soriano on a three-year deal, pending a possible Tuesday physical, that would have him set up closer Mariano Rivera — for now — and earn about $35 million. He has opt-out options after each of the first two years of the contract.
 
While pitching is always a valued commodity, some clubs are also looking for a role player; maybe a fourth outfielder or a back-up infielder that will provide a little extra insurance. 
 
Regardless of what they are shopping for, the Hot Stove market is definitely growing thinner at this stage in the game. However, there are still plenty of players out there who could prove to be a gem for one team. 
Here’s a look at the latest updates on the market from around the league: 
- The Padres are on the verge of adding some additional depth to their bullpen, in the form of right-hander Chad Qualls, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Brock reported on Twitter on Thursday afternoon that the Padres are “very close” to a deal with Qualls. 
- Utility man Willie Bloomquist has agreed to a one-year deal, $1.05 million deal with the D-backs, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Thursday. The deal also includes a mutual option for the 2012 season. 
- It’s not appearing that outfielder Willie Harris will return to the Nationals in 2011. Harris has two offers at this point, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweeted Thursday and neither of them are from the Nats. The two sides haven’t spoken in weeks, Ladson added. 
- Veteran Eric Chavez has worked out recently for the Blue Jays, ESPN.com reported Thursday. Chavez has been working out for teams in Arizona over the past few weeks. The Mariners and Dodgers have also been linked to Chavez at times this offseason.
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Market continues to evolve in 2011

In the new year’s first week, the Hot Stove is in full gear. With Adrian Beltre nearing terms with Texas and Kevin Gregg inking a deal with Baltmore, the number of available impact free agents has begun to dwindle, as has their potential destinations.

One of the big fish remaining is Vladimir Guerrero, whose time in Texas is all but finished with the Rangers on the verge of a deal with Beltre. Guerrero’s former team, the Angels, were also in talks with Beltre, but ESPN Los Angeles.com is reporting that the Halos aren’t targeting their former AL MVP for offensive help.

Here’s the rundown on the other movers and shakers on Tuesday:

- MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are close to signing Beltre to a six-year, $96 million contract. The 31-year-old Beltre is coming off of a strong bounceback season in Boston, where he hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs. Current Texas third baseman Michael Young told the club he would be willing to change positions — again — to designated hitter to accommodate the addition of Beltre, a two-time Gold Glove winner at third.

- Gregg took his time making a decision, but the right-handed reliever has signed a two-year deal with the Orioles, MLB.com has confirmed. Gregg has 121 saves and a 3.79 ERA over the last four seasons, including 37 saves for Toronto in 2010. Baltimore will be his fourth club in as many seasons and fifth in the last six years.

- According to the outfielder himself, Carlos Gonzalez has “practically concluded” talks with the Rockies on a seven-year, $80 million contract extension. The 25-year-old Gonzalez had a breakout campaign in 2010 with a .336 average, 34 home runs and 117 RBIs — good enough to finish third in the NL MVP balloting. If and when the deal is finalized, Colorado will have locked up two of its young stars in Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki through at least the 2017 season.

- The Reds came to terms on a Minor League deal with outfieder Jeremy Hermida. The left-hand-hitting Hermida is a .259 career hitter, but batted just .216 last season between stops in Boston and Oakland. He has hit .267 in his career off of right-hand pitching.

- The Giants and World Series MVP Edgar Renteria are back in negotiations, as tweeted by CSNBayArea.com’s Mychael Urban. San Francisco, however, isn’t overly optimistic about signing the shortstop, who termed an earlier $1 million offer from the club a “lack of respect.”

-The Nationals and Adam LaRoche continue to near a two-year agreement, tweeted Jim Bowden of Sirius XM, echoing news MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on Monday.

-The Phillies and right-handed reliever Chad Durbin have exchanged offers, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Durbin, who has been a member of the Philadelphia bullpen for three seasons, is apparently seeking a raise from the $2.125 million he made in 2010.

–Tim Britton

Roundup: Hot Stove comes alive after Holidays

With a bevy of signings and a fresh batch of rumors, the Hot Stove came back to life on Monday following the holiday hiatus. In addition to the Rockies’ efforts to lock up outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for the long haul, Monday brought the completion of the Rangers’ deal with Brandon Webb and Arthur Rhodes in addition to several other smaller signings. 
It wasn’t all about pitching in Texas on Monday, however. After talks emerged over the weekend regarding a potential deal with Adrian Beltre, that possibility seems less likely now, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. The Rangers have checked with Michael Young about the possibility of a position change, an idea that the third baseman didn’t seem overly keen about, according to Sullivan. Given that, club officials now aren’t overly optimistic they’ll get anything done at this point. 
It remains to be seen if this will swing momentum in the Beltre sweepstakes back to the Halos.
In addition to the Rangers’ dealings, here’s a rundown of Monday’s news from around the league:
- The Mets signed a pair of pitchers, left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander Taylor Buchholz. Before 2010, Capuano hadn’t pitched in the Majors since 2007, and Buchholz hadn’t since 2008, both because of Tommy John surgery. The Mets released right-hander Ryota Igarashi to make room, despite owing him $1.75 million next season.
- The Yankees expect to hear something on veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte soon, ESPN New York.com reported on Monday. The team could know within a couple of days, according to the site. Also in the Bronx, the Yankees made their signing of reliever Pedro Feliciano official on Monday.
- The Nats are “progressing” in their talks with free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on Monday. The two sides are not far apart at this point, a baseball source confirmed to Ladson. 
- In addition to the Twins and Nationals, there are thought to be one or two other teams in on Carl Pavano, SI.com reported on Monday. Pavano is largely seen as the best free agent pitcher on the market at this point.
- Pittsburgh has agreed to re-sign left-hander Brian Burres, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reported on Monday. Burres, who was non-tendered earlier this year, could be a candidate for the rotation this season.
- The Dodgers agreed to terms with veteran Tim Redding to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite on Monday. Redding, 32, will give Los Angeles another capable starter in the rotation, if needed. 
- The Red Sox picked up utility man Hector Luna on a Minor League agreement, Fox Sports’s Jon Paul Morosi tweeted on Monday. Luna, who will turn 31 in February, appeared in 27 games for the Marlins last season. 
- In their search for a versatile outfielder, the Reds have turned their attention to Fred Lewis, according to Fox Sports.com. Lewis, 30, proved productive for the Blue Jays last season and could fit into the Reds’ outfield needs. 
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Many teams interested in Fuentes?

Relief pitching remained at the forefront of the free agent arena on Tuesday as discussion of the market for left-hander Brian Fuentes occupied an otherwise slow news day.
There’s still a large contingent of teams that have at least some interest in Fuentes, including the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rays, Rockies, Mariners, Twins, Pirates, Phillies, Brewers, Yankees and Mets, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted Tuesday.
Many of those teams could have filled their need in recent days, however, including the Yankees (Pedro Feliciano), Brewers (Takashi Saito) and Rockies (Matt Lindstrom). In addition, the price tag for Fuentes could be prohibitive for some of those teams, if he indeed is seeking a deal comparable to Scott Downs’s three-year, $15 million pact with the Angels as Ken Rosenthal suggested last week.
Here’s a look at other happenings around the league on Tuesday: 
- After adding Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke to their rotation, the Brewers have ended negotiations with Chris Capuano, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Tuesday. Capuano reportedly wanted to stay in the starting rotation, a role the Brewers simply didn’t have open for next season. 
- Free Agent left-hander Jeff Francis acknowledged to the Vancouver Province that teams have shown interest in him, but suggested it hadn’t gone much farther than that. The Mets, Yankees, Nationals and Pirates have all been mentioned as possible fits for Francis so far. 
- Brandon Webb did get at least $3 million guaranteed and “at least that in incentives” in his pact with the Rangers, Heyman confirmed on Twitter.
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Webb to Texas

He’s not Cliff Lee, but he’s a late Christmas gift for the Rangers nonetheless.
Right-hander Brandon Webb and the Rangers have reached on a one-year, incentive-heavy deal, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan confirmed on Sunday.
Webb narrowed his choice to Texas and a National League Central mystery team according to an ESPN.com report from earlier the day. The Cubs and Nationals were thought to be in the running.
The Rangers hadn’t made their interest in the right-hander a secret after losing out on Cliff Lee. Among the NL Central teams, the Reds were likely the principal challenger to Texas, FoxSports.com reported.
Webb won the 2006 NL Cy Young but hasn’t pitched in a regular season game since 2009 because of injury. A successful stint on a one-year deal this season would allow him to re-establish his value and set himself up for a larger multiyear deal next year.
For Texas, Webb could fill a spot in a starting rotation that already includes C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter.
Here’s a look at some of the post-Christmas odds and ends from around the league on Sunday:
- While the Yankees had internal talks about adding Manny Ramirez earlier this offseason, they currently have no interest in signing him, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted on Sunday. With three starting outfielders and Jorge Posada set to serve as the designated hitter, there’s currently no place for Ramirez’s bat in the Bronx. 
- Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has re-signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles for next season, Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times tweeted on Sunday. Iwakuma seemingly doesn’t want to discuss a move to MLB any further until he qualifies for international free agency after the 2011 season, Coskrey added. Earlier this offseason, Iwakuma could not reach an agreement with the Athletics after Oakland won the right to negotiate with him.
- Free agent Carl Pavano will continue to hold out for a three-year deal, the Boston Globe reported on Sunday. The Twins, Rangers, Nats and Mariners are among the teams who continue to have interest, the paper reported with the stipulation that Seattle would have to free up some money first. Pavano could be nearing a decision as MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on Friday that he would decide after Christmas.
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Garcia, Pavano, Webb still on market

Several big-name arms have already been spoken for in the Hot Stove market, but there are still plenty of starting pitching options left including Carl Pavano, Freddy Garcia and Brandon Webb.
With the Brewers now out on Pavano, the market for the veteran is seemingly down to the Twins and Nationals at this point. 
Garcia, who went 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA for the White Sox last season, is coming off a season in which he suffered back pain. The Yankees and Mets have asked for the 35-year-olds medical records, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted. The White Sox also have reportedly have checked in Garcia. 
Garcia’s situation isn’t altogether different from Webb, who is trying to prove he is healthy and can still be effective on a Major League mound. While several teams have expressed interest in the 30-year-old, including the Cubs, Rangers and Nationals, Chicago doesn’t appear to be a good fit for the right-hander, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. For a deal to be struck, Webb would likely have to take a Kerry Wood-type discount, Muskat suggested.
Here’s a look at Monday’s other happenings around the league: 
- The Nats added some outfield depth on Monday by adding veteran Rick Ankiel with a one-year deal, pending a physical. Ankiel will likely compete with Roger Bernadina for playing time in left field, a source confirmed to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.
-Infielder Craig Counsell agreed to a one-year deal with his hometown Brewers on Monday.  The deal, which has not been made official as of yet, essentially was a win for both sides as Counsell remains close to home while the Brewers retain a veteran presence in their clubhouse who also is a strong utility player off the bench. Counsell batted .250 in 2010, but put up a .333 (13-39) mark as a pinch-hitter.  
- Royals GM Dayton Moore has no plans to part with his closer Joakim Soria, even after sending ace Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.com tweeted on Monday. The club has been getting calls on the closer, but for many reasons isn’t intersted in moving him, according to the report.
-One of the bigger bats still left on the free agent market, first baseman Derrek Lee, is looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $8-$10 million, Rosenthal tweeted Monday. At that price, he notes, the Padres are probably priced out, but it might not be too high for the Nats.
- The Indians added two free agent outfielders to the fold on Monday, in Austin Kearns and Travis Buck. While Buck agreed to a one-year Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite, Kears accepted a one-year big league deal. Buck, whose deal has not been made official as of yet, has appeared as an Opening Day outfielder for the Athletics in each of the last three seasons. For Kearns, the deal brings him back to Cleveland where he began last season before a midseason trade sent him to the Yankees. 
“We think [Kearns is] a great fit for our team,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “We recognized the makeup and composition of our team would be predominently left-handed, especially in the outfield. Austin provides great balance to that with his ability to play all three outfield spots and the fact that he’s a right-handed hitter.
–Bailey Stephens
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