Willie Harris Rumors
The Nats will likely consider dealing Joe Beimel, Willie Harris and Nick Johnson within the next two days, but Chico Harlan of the Washington Post says the team has incentive to keep Adam Dunn and hot-hitting Josh Willingham. Harlan hears that the Nats are asking a lot for either slugger and would happily keep both.
The market for Nick Johnson has worsened now that the Red Sox and Giants added first basemen. Earlier in the month, GM Mike Rizzo said he didn't anticipate a particularly active trade deadline.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that while he's readily available, the Nationals are asking for too much in return for first baseman Nick Johnson.Teams are just not willing to give up their top young players for the injury prone Johnson, even though he's hitting .305-.413-.425 on the season. He'll also be a free agent at the end of the year, another reason teams are reluctant to meet the Nats demands.
Ladson also mentions that "contending teams" have expressed interest in utility man Willie Harris. Capable of playing just about everywhere except pitcher and catcher, Harris is hitting .253-.370-..430 in 190 plate appearances this season.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson has dug up more Nationals rumors...
- Prince Fielder is one of the left-handed power bats that interest the Nats. Ladson writes that "it's doubtful" that the Brewers would part with him.
- Lastings Milledge "could be trade bait before the season starts."
- Ladson expects the Nats to go after Orlando Hudson, and suggests he could bat leadoff.
- Willie Harris will stay put in Washington.
- Nick Johnson could start the season at first for the Nats, but they'd rather avoid relying on him.
- Washington isn't likely to make a play for a big-name starter.
The Nationals signed Willie Harris to a two-year, $3MM deal today.
The 30-year-old utilityman played in the outfield, and at shortstop, second and third for the Nationals last year, hitting .251/.344/.417 in 140 games. Though he played mostly in left last year, the crowded Washington outfield could mean more playing time on the infield for Harris.
He made $800K in 2008.
Here's a quick look back at some of the bigger stories on MLBTR over the past week:
- D'Backs ace Dan Haren signed a very affordable extension with the team, which would keep him in Arizona through 2012 with an option for 2013. Great deal for the D'Backs and their fans.
- Brian Giles was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox, which is now believed to have been an effort to block the Rays from acquiring him. Giles blocked the trade to Boston with his no-trade clause.
- The Rockies acquired Livan Hernandez from the Twins. Minnesota won't receive a player in return, but unloads Hernandez's remaining $1.5MM on his contract, as well as his 5.48 ERA. Seems fine to me.
- Fifteen teams watched a throwing session from Freddy Garcia. Here are a few reactions.
- Relievers on the move: The Cubs DFA'ed Scott Eyre, and traded him to the Phillies the next day. The Rays acquired Chad Bradford from the Orioles, and DFA'ed Al Reyes in order to make room for him. In a rare inter-division trade, the Royals traded Horacio Ramirez to the White Sox. Huston Street was claimed, but is staying put.
- Position players on the move: Felipe Lopez signed with the Cardinals, the Mariners released Jose Vidro, and the Marlins signed Paul Lo Duca in addition to claiming Brad Ausmus off waivers. No word on whether or not a deal will be worked out for Ausmus yet.
- A few glimpses into 2009? Rafael Furcal hopes to re-sign with the Dodgers. Bobby Abreu hopes to be wearing Yankee pinstripes again, and the Nationals hope Willie Harris is a part of the organization again as well.
- Tim made a list of waiver trade candidates for both the American League and National League and compiled a list of players who were known to have cleared waivers in 2007. Remember, these are just players who would likely clear waivers, whether because of their talent level or contractual status. Teams often place big-name players on waivers that they have no intention of trading.
According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the Nationals would like to re-sign infielder/outfielder Willie Harris.
Harris, 30, is hitting .248/.344/.435 in 249 plate appearances this year while playing second base, shortstop, third base, left field, and center field for the Nats. He is under team control through '09.
Scott Boras found a deal for Kyle Lohse; will he now focus on getting Jeff Weaver a job? On Monday, Jeff's brother Jered said the Nationals and Cardinals had expressed interest. The Cards are surely out of the mix now, and MLB.com's Bill Ladson says Weaver has seemingly "priced himself out of the Nats' pay range." I'll guess the Nats were thinking $2MM or so.
So if the Nats and Cards are both out, what's the elder Weaver to do? Baltimore seems to be his best option. Toronto could work. Perhaps the Astros as a long shot.
In a note at the bottom of his article, Ladson also quashes a short-lived Felipe Lopez to the Cubs rumor. He adds that the Dodgers have legitimate interest in Willie Harris.
According to a press release from the Nationals, they've signed Rob Mackowiak and Willie Harris to one-year deals. The idea is to bolster the bench.