The Nationals have filed an interesting affidavit in their litigation against the Orioles (via MASN) relating to the arbitration on the value of their television rights fees, as James Wagner of the Washington Post notes. Seeking to help convince the judge to order the O’s back to a league-run arbitration panel, Washington owner Ed Cohen said of the lack of market-rate revenue: “[W]ithout this added and steady income, the Nationals cannot bring full economic confidence to investments in multi-year player contracts to keep up with the fierce competition for top players — especially when such control over finances is in the hands of a neighboring club.” It’s interesting to see some insight, however vague, into the team’s thinking on the matter, although it’s hard to know just how much impact there’s been in actuality on the team’s willingness and ability to offer contracts to free agents.
Here are some notes on a few free agents (or those who’ll soon formally join the open market):
- Intriguing young Cuban talent Lazaro Armenteros (aka “Lazarito”) expects to have a deal in place within the next two weeks, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. He’s in negotiations with some teams even as he finishes up workouts with others, says Rosenthal. The 16-year-old is seen as an intriguing athlete, though there have also been some less-than-sterling reviews.
- The showcase for Cuban outfielder Alexei Bell will now take place on February 15th in Mexico City, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. The veteran star is hoping to catch on with a major league organization.
- Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun takes a look at the Orioles’ current possibilities for adding an outfielder. Dexter Fowler doesn’t seem to be an option, given the need to punt the club’s top draft pick, but he wonders whether Austin Jackson or a left-handed-hitting platoon option such as David Murphy or Will Venable could be in the cards. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com does the same with regard to starting pitching, providing an excellent breakdown of the internal possibilities and potential targets.
- Free agent reliever Tommy Hunter is still looking for a second guaranteed year, Rich Dubroff of CSNmidatlantic.com tweets. He’s certainly one of the better names left on a slowing relief market, though it might still be a tall order to reach a multi-year pact. Hunter has largely posted solid results since moving to the pen full-time, but struggled badly with the long ball late last year.
- At this point, the Mets are realistically only looking at relievers on minor league deals, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. That makes sense, as the club already had to push a solid pitcher in Carlos Torres off of the roster after signing Antonio Bastardo.