The latest from the NL East…
- As of last Tuesday, the Nationals had yet to speak with Ryan Zimmerman or his agents, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports. Zimmerman is a free agent for the first time in his 15-year career, after the Nats spent $2MM to buy out their $18MM club option on the veteran first baseman for the 2020 season. Back in August, Zimmerman said that remaining in Washington was a priority, and he was willing to play on a series of less-pricey one-year contracts. Assuming he hasn’t changed that stance, Zimmerman could be viewed by the Nationals as something of a fallback, as the team may feel safe in first exploring other first base options.
- The Mets will interview Steve Karsay for their pitching coach opening, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Karsay is currently the Brewers’ bullpen coach, after spending 2012-18 as a pitching coach in the Indians’ minor league system. Of course, most fans know Karsay best from his 11 seasons and 603 1/3 career MLB innings with five different teams (most notably the A’s, Indians, and Yankees) from 1993-2006. Twins assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and University Of Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter are the only other known candidates linked to the Mets’ job.
- Between Will Smith, Mark Melancon, and Shane Greene, the Braves could be committing roughly $33.5MM in salary to three relievers next season, Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes. Greene’s salary is still up in the air, as the Braves could potentially non-tender the righty rather than pay him $6.5MM in projected arbitration salary. A non-tender or trade could be possible if the Braves are wary of overspending on their bullpen, since $33.5MM is rather a hefty sum for a trio that only featured one member (Smith) who posted really outstanding numbers in 2019. Tucker observes that the Braves already have around $100MM (barring any more non-tenders) on the books for player payroll for next season, which leaves them with quite a bit of spending capacity if the team is willing or able to match its season-ending $144MM payroll figure from last year.