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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making the Case for a Strasburg/Betts Trade | FanGraphs Baseball

Neither side is comfortable with the deal which suggests that perhaps it’s a reasonably fair proposal? Really? David Cameron writes some enjoyable articles at times. I’m glad, though, that he’s not the GM of the Red Sox. 

In talking with people in the game, neither side seems comfortable with the deal, which suggests that perhaps it’s a reasonably fair proposal, or at least in the ballpark of being reasonable on both sides. I know I’m higher on Betts than most, and if you place a very high value on frontline pitching, perhaps you think the Red Sox should add a sweetener to the deal. This isn’t so much about trying to say that Betts are Strasburg are equivalent in value as it is to say that the Red Sox and Nationals are currently setup to help each other about as well as two organizations have been in some time.

It’s almost certainly not going to happen, but as far as speculative trade suggestions go, this one seems to make as much sense on both sides as any I can remember.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 07:41 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, nationals, red sox, stephen strasburg

Max Scherzer says winning, not cash, landed him in D.C.

I call bullshit.

“It’s pretty easy. It’s one (reason). Winning,” he said. “This team is capable of winning, and winning a lot, when you look at the near-term and long-term. This is an organization you want to be a part of.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 09:02 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, nationals

Seven-year deals for pitchers ... big trouble - Jayson Stark Blog - ESPN

Scott Boras amazes me. How any team would give Max Scherzer a contract of this length shocks me. As Stark notes, the track record for such contracts is terrible.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 07:06 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals

Monday, January 19, 2015

Max Scherzer agrees to Nats deal, making great rotation even better - CBSSports.com

Jon Heyman says it’s a done deal.

op right-handed starter Max Scherzer and the Nationals are in agreement on a seven-year deal, CBSSports.com has learned.

Details of the deal beyond the seven years are not known.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2015 at 05:51 AM | 162 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, nationals

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Max Scherzer closing in on new multiyear contract - ESPN

According to the Washington Post, the Nationals are the favorite to land Scherzer and are “very close” to a deal.

A source told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that the Nationals won’t have the financial flexibility to sign Scherzer unless they have a trade in place to move starter Jordan Zimmermann and possibly shortstop Ian Desmond. As of Saturday, Stark reports, the Nationals did not have trades in place for either Zimmermann or Desmond.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2015 at 09:58 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, nationals, tigers

YAHOO: Tim Brown - Max Scherzer appears to be nearing deal with Nationals

Max Scherzer, the ace of a free-agent class that included Jon Lester and still features James Shields, on Sunday appeared to be nearing an agreement on a seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals.

“It’s heating up,” a source familiar with the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.

The contract could be worth in the neighborhood of $200 million.

Lester, in December, signed with the Chicago Cubs for $155 million over six years. Boras believed Scherzer was worth more than that, and indeed was thought to be seeking something close to the contract Kershaw received with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lassus Posted: January 18, 2015 at 08:09 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Friday, January 16, 2015

Boswell | Washington Nationals got a second baseman in Yunel Escobar, but did they get better?

General Manager Mike Rizzo always says he enters the offseason with Plan A to improve or fix the Nationals but with Plans B and C already mapped out in case his best hopes don’t materialize. Trading stellar setup man Tyler Clippard for Yunel Escobar, a 32-year-old shortstop showing signs of deterioration, in order to turn him into Washington’s next second baseman feels like Plan C.

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: January 16, 2015 at 12:05 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nationals To Acquire Yunel Escobar

Not a Bay Area guy, I guess…

The Nationals have reached an agreement to acquire shortstop Yunel Escobar from the A’s, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He speculates that a swap of Escobar and Tyler Clippard was a possibility.

Escobar, of course, had only just been acquired by the Athletics this past weekend…

As for the Nationals, the acquisition opens a number of avenues. First and foremost is that Escobar simply supplants Danny Espinosa as the team’s second baseman… However, the possibility of an eventual Desmond trade cannot be outright ignored…

The 32-year-old Escobar, typically a sound defender, had somewhat of a down season on both sides of the ball in 2014. Though he picked things up with the bat late in the season to salvage a .258/.324/.340 batting line (92 OPS+, 95 wRC+), he posted a UZR/150 of -26, and Defensive Runs Saved dinged him equally, rating him at -24 runs. However, Escobar also battled shoulder and knee problems last season and has otherwise always been regarded as an excellent defender, so while some will assume this to be age-related decline, there’s reason to believe that he could rebound in 2015.


Hollywood Reporter: TV Broadcaster Challenges MLB’s Secret $25 Million Deal With Washington Nationals

The motion to vacate the arbitration ruling is largely premised on the role that Proskauer Rose played. The law firm represented the Nationals during the arbitration, but allegedly has conflicts — it has been involved in many MLB matters including the antitrust lawsuit over TV deals that is about to be presented to the 2nd Circuit. It represented the Mets in the Bernie Madoff affair, the Tampa Bay Rays in salary disputes with players, and much more.

In fact, on Monday, MASN told the judge that the law firm was “even more intertwined with MLB than was previously revealed,” counting 74 separate engagements, including 49 that occurred during the arbitration. These matters included representing the MLB in the Biogenesis investigation, in the dispute over the league’s one-year suspension of Alex Rodriguez and former MLB commissioner Bud Selig in the 2012 extension of his $22 million-per-year employment contract.

The Orioles and its broadcaster only threw up a number of soft objections to Proskauer’s involvement during the arbitration, but is now using its legal bat to drive home the point that MLB used the law firm to gain an illicit advantage over the arbitration process. The Nationals argue that MLB’s conflict of interest is “irrelevant” because the firm represented the league in unrelated matters, but the Orioles/MASN assert that MLB and Rob Manfred — who becomes the league’s new commissioner this month — “maintained almost complete control over the Arbitration and Award.”

And why exactly does the MLB care what MASN pays to the Nationals for the right to televise its games? If MLB used Proskauer to sway the arbitrators, what did MLB stand to gain from favoring one team over another?

As detailed in prior stories on this dispute, MLB privately paid $25 million to the Nationals to soothe team owner Ted Lerner’s own problems with being forced to license its games at a discount. Now, MASN tells the judge that the arbitration award must be vacated because “MLB had (and still has) a direct financial interest in the outcome.”

On Monday, Alan Rifkin, an attorney representing MASN, delivered an extraordinary sworn affidavit (read here in full) in the courtroom battle over TV money. It attempts to explain MLB’s stake.

Rifkin says he had discussions with Manfred — then the MLB’s chief operating officer — in August 2013. According to Rifkin, Manfred wrote that MLB had “resolved” the Nationals’ claim for additional telecast rights fees for 2012 and 2013 and that the league would “fund the entire cost of the resolution.”

At the time, Rifkin thought that MLB was going to pay the Nationals $7.5 million and believed this was a mistake because he says it “would only encourage the Nationals to believe that they were entitled to telecast rights fees in excess” of what the team deserved.

Only later, he says, did he learn that MLB had actually paid the Nationals $25 million. Manfred wanted to know if the Orioles would consider allowing the MLB to recoup the money through the proceeds of a sale of MASN, says Rifkin. The entreaty was allegedly rejected. ...

A spokesperson for MLB said the league had no comment about yesterday’s court filings. In prior papers filed by Manfred in the case, he wrote that MLB only plays a “support role” in the arbitration, that the process was well known by the Orioles, and that during the proceedings no party complained that it hadn’t been given an opportunity to present its case nor ever objected to the procedure.

JE (Jason) Posted: January 14, 2015 at 01:39 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: lawsuit, masn, nationals, orioles, peter angelos, tv rights

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ian Desmond, Ben Zobrist were part of Nationals-Mets-Rays trade discussion | FOX Sports

The Nationals would have sent Desmond to the Rays for Zobrist and Escobar, the two players the Rays traded to the Athletics on Saturday. The Rays then would have flipped Desmond to the Mets.

The roadblock was the Rays’ request for two top Mets prospects from a list of three – a price the Mets considered too steep for Desmond, who is entering his free-agent year.

The Rays’ wish list included right-hander Noah Syndergaard, the Mets’ No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America. The other two targets are not known.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2015 at 06:22 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, nationals, rays, trade rumors

Saturday, January 10, 2015

WaPo - Bryce Harper Back On the Market

The best is yet to come!

boteman Posted: January 10, 2015 at 07:23 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Nationals hire Rick Ankiel as “life skills coordinator”

Those who can’t, teach.

Rick Ankiel‘s weird career has taken another interesting turn, as the retired pitcher-turned-outfielder has been hired by the Nationals as a “life skills coordinator” as part of their minor-league coaching staff.

According to the team’s press release the 35-year-old Ankiel “will draw on his vast experience as a player to help mentor Nationals farmhands.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2015 at 01:32 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: coaching, life skills, nationals, rick ankiel

Nationals Announce Minor-League Coaching Staff, Including Rick Ankiel

I always had the feeling Ankiel would make a good coach while he was with the Nats, but apparently his title is “life skills coordinator”.

Bourbon Samurai Posted: January 08, 2015 at 12:19 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

WaPo - Smiley Aint Esmailyn No Mo

It’s now the Wilmer Difo show, fo sho.

Alvarez sympathizes with the pressures placed on Dominican players, many trying to improve their family’s financial footing. Players aren’t allowed to officially sign with a major league team until 16, but they are often giving up school and training heavily in their early teens. “What happened to me, I did it because I didn’t know how else to get ahead,” he said.

EDIT: Link shortened. Jim.

boteman Posted: January 06, 2015 at 04:29 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: captain_leatherpants, dominican, nationals, prospects

WaPo - Mayor of WPB Agrees To Negotiate NatStros Site

Hey, look! An article that’s NOT about the Hall of Fame voting! WOO HOO!!

West Palm Beach will negotiate a land swap with Palm Beach County for 160 acres of land targeted for a joint training facility for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, Mayor Jeri Muoio announced Monday, smoothing the path toward a new spring training home for the Nationals. The announcement represents a reversal on the part of the city, which previously had refused to negotiate such a swap.

boteman Posted: January 06, 2015 at 04:22 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, nationals, spring training

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Giolito discusses 2014, his future in Q&A

An interview with the next big thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2015 at 09:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: lucas giolito, nationals, prospects

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Asdrubal Cabrera to join Rays

Its a shame about the Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year deal with infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, a source told ESPN’s Buster Olney, confirming multiple reports….

The shortstop played second base for the Washington Nationals at the end of last season after he was acquired in a trade deadline deal from the Cleveland Indians.

A two-time All-Star, Cabrera batted .229 with five home runs and 21 RBIs for the Nationals in 49 games after the trade. In total, between both teams, he finished last season batting .241 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, free agents, indians, nationals, rays

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mess with MLB? Lose your All-Star Game

We heard a couple of weeks ago that Petco Park in San Diego was likely to host the 2016 All-Star Game. This conflicted with an earlier report that Camden Yards in Baltimore would play host.

Today Roch Kubatko of MASN confirms that, no, Camden Yards will not be the site and cryptically adds that “Major League Baseball doesn’t seem to have much desire to do the Orioles any favors these days.”

It has to be cryptic, I assume, because Kubtako’s employer is at the center of the reason why MLB doesn’t want to do the Orioles any favors. As we’ve noted, MASN — which is owned and controlled by Orioles owner Peter Angelos — is in pitched litigation with MLB and the Washington Nationals over rights fees for Nats broadcasts on the network both teams share. Just a couple of weeks ago MASN won a discovery motion in the case, and you don’t have discovery disputes in cases where everyone is being all amicable with one another.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, litigation, masn, nationals, orioles

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Monday, December 22, 2014

Turner Situation Could Lead To Sea Change In Draft Pick Trades - BaseballAmerica.com

Get rid of this rule and the rule that keeps teams from trading draft picks.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2014 at 02:31 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, padres, rules, trea turner

Friday, December 19, 2014

Zuckerman - Trea Turner Named Now, Plays Later

Actually, I can’t say his name or I have to kill you.

They may not be allowed to announce that player’s name yet, but he does have a name: Trea Turner. The 21-year-old shortstop isn’t allowed by MLB rules to be traded until 12 months have passed since he was drafted. Thus, Turner (the 13th overall pick this summer out of N.C. State) will remain a member of San Diego’s organization until mid-June 2015, at which point he’ll officially join the Nationals and complete the transaction, according to sources familiar with the deal.

What remains unclear is whether the Nationals have agreed to a contingency plan with the Padres in the event Turner gets injured before changing franchises next summer…

boteman Posted: December 19, 2014 at 03:18 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trades, transactions

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The 4 surprisingly quiet teams of the MLB offseason

Perhaps the best move is….not to play.

Baltimore Orioles

Dammit, Orioles.

For the third straight offseason—and I didn’t really check the offseasons before that, either—the Orioles made it through the Winter Meetings without a major move. So far, it’s Wesley Wright and only Wesley Wright, and that just happened. Nick Markakis is gone. Delmon Young is gone. Cruz is with the Mariners. As of now, the top first baseman on their depth chart is Christian Walker, who had a .335 on-base percentage in Triple-A last year. The Orioles thought they were going to bring Markakis back on a four-year deal. Instead, they’re looking at Steve Pearce, everyday right fielder, and Alejandro De Aza, leadoff hitter.

Their needs are obvious: At least one more corner player. Could be a left fielder, right fielder, or a first baseman. If the Orioles want to keep Chris Davis in the field, their options are wide open for a DH. If they start the season with this permutation, it will be stunning. There just aren’t as many options as there once were, of course. Michael Morse is gone, Melky Cabrera was never a serious consideration, Billy Butler signed early, the White Sox scooped up Adam LaRoche ... it’s starting to look like it’s trade or bust for the Orioles.

Bringing Delmon back and waiting for March wouldn’t be much of an offseason plan. That isn’t what the Orioles are going to do, right?

Right?

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2014 at 05:06 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hot stove, nationals, orioles, rangers

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NY Judge Gives MASN Partial Edge In Nationals Dispute

NEW YORK — A New York Supreme Court granted partial discovery Monday to Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, forcing Major League Baseball to hand over documents relating to the long-standing dispute over the Washington Nationals’ regional television rights fees. MASN, which is majority controlled by the Baltimore Orioles, had been seeking documents detailing incoming MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s involvement with a arbitration panel that ruled this summer that MASN should pay the Nationals more in rights fees.

After three hours of arguments, Judge Lawrence Marks also approved MASN’s request that MLB turn over documents detailing the panel’s meetings, attendance and the details of the correspondence between Manfred and any MLB staff and the panel. MASN contends that Manfred, who has been serving as Commissioner Bud Selig’s right-hand man, and MLB had a vested interest in the panel’s ruling, which awarded the Nationals nearly $300 million in TV rights fees during the 2012-2016 “reset” period.

boteman Posted: December 17, 2014 at 01:37 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: greed, masn, nationals, orioles, peter angelos

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NatStros Palm Beach County Spring Training Site Negotiations

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s empty lot.

Palm Beach County voted Tuesday to continue negotiations and potentially make an unsolicited offer to the city of West Palm Beach for a land swap that could give the Nationals and Astros the needed site for a two-team spring training facility.

boteman Posted: December 16, 2014 at 04:10 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, florida, nationals, spring training

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bryce Harper, Nationals avoid grievance hearing after settling on 2015 salary [UPDATED] - The Washington Post

Outfielder Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals will avoid a grievance hearing over his 2015 salary after the sides reached a settlement Sunday evening with a two-year, $7.5 million contract, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Harper and the Nationals had been at odds over how his salary would be determined because of a rare dispute over the contract he signed as a first-round draft pick in 2010. If the sides had not settled, the Nationals and their most recognizable player would have engaged in a potentially contentious hearing Tuesday.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2014 at 09:37 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

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