We haven’t yet heard a full breakdown of the Nationals’ offseason plans following the club’s hard-to-fathom postseason exit on Thursday night. But president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo has shared some preliminary thoughts on the team’s latest NLDS disaster, as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports. Despite the obvious disappointment, Rizzo suggests there’s not much to be done beyond continuing to “just keep getting there, keep giving ourselves opportunities” in the postseason. He cited a quality core both “on the current club” and “in the farm system to supplement us,” which certainly has been reflected in the regular season results. So, how can the Nats respond to the loss? “Keep grinding, keep building, keep getting quality people in here. We’re going to be fine here in Washington,” Rizzo says.
More from the East Coast:
- With a 7.84 ERA and minus-1.o fWAR across 93 innings, right-hander Chris Tillman was among the worst pitchers in baseball this year, but Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com doesn’t sense that the Orioles have moved on from the free agent-to-be. Both sides are comfortable with each other, Kubatko writes, which could lead to Tillman staying with the starter-needy Orioles on a one-year deal in an effort to rebuild his value. Tillman gave Baltimore’s rotation respectable production from 2012-16, but the shoulder issues he dealt with toward the end of last year disrupted his offseason routine and likely played some part in his difficult 2017. A more typical winter and spring could make Tillman a bounce-back candidate next year, then.
- It’s not particularly likely that the Red Sox will bring back any of their impending free agents, Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com suggests. Out of Eduardo Nunez, Mitch Moreland, Chris Young, Doug Fister, Fernando Abad, Addison Reed, Rajai Davis and Blaine Boyer, it seems Boston is most interested in re-signing Nunez, but McCaffrey points out that he may be able to land more playing time someplace else. Should the Red Sox re-up Nunez, it could be a sign that they’re concerned about second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s health, McCaffrey observes. The 34-year-old Pedroia went on the disabled list twice because of knee issues in 2017 and only appeared in 105 games – down from 154 the previous season.
- New Marlins part-owner Derek Jeter has already made some decisions contrary to predecessor Jeffrey Loria’s advice, Jon Heyman of FanRag writes. Specifically, Loria would have retained four executives Jeter’s group fired – assistant general manager Mike Berger, vice president of player development Marc Delpiano, VP of pitching development Jim Benedict and VP of player personnel Jeff McAvoy – and parted with scouting director Stan Meek, whom Jeter kept. Jeter and majority owner Bruce Sherman will have to pay the axed execs between $6.5MM and $9MM, Heyman adds.