NL East Links: Pagnozzi, Haren, Howell, Phils

The NL East has been involved in multiple headlines today, with the Nationals signing Dan Haren to a one-year deal and the Marlins trading Yunel Escobar to the Rays. Here's some more news from around the division…

  • The Braves have signed catcher Matt Pagnozzi to a minor league contract, according to's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Pagnozzi, who hit .224/.329/.359 for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate last season, will likely serve as the team's big league backup while Brian McCann is out.
  • Haren is the Nationals' 2013 version of Edwin Jackson, writes ESPN's Keith Law (Insider req'd). Haren can provide bulk innings behind the Nats' trio of aces, and carries the same "all-or-nothing" upside that Ben Sheets did when he signed with the Athletics for $10MM in 2010.
  • J.P. Howell has interest in playing for the Nationals, writes's Bill Ladson. I can't imagine there are many players who wouldn't want to play for the Nats, given their projected lineup and rotation. The team does have interest in adding another lefty reliever, so Howell could be in luck.
  • The Phillies have made plenty of offers so far, but have nothing to show for it at the Winter Meetings thus far, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly. The team is still pursuing outfield and third base help via free agency and trade. Vance Worley and Trevor May are both on the table in trade talks. Worley is "100 percent" following September elbow surgery, according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
  • We learned earlier that the Marlins are looking to add a third baseman after trading Escobar, who told them he wasn't comfortable playing the hot corner.

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