- Mike MacDougal is currently the favorite to be the Nats' closer in 2010. In 52 appearances last season, the 32-year-old posted an ERA of 3.60 but had as many walks as he did strikeouts. However, the club could be looking to upgrade as Ladson hears that they are interested in acquiring free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez. If they ink Gonzalez, Ladson sees the two men sharing the closer role.
- Don't expect Washington to make a move for free agent right fielder Jermaine Dye, as Elijah Dukes will be allowed to showcase his potential as the starter.
- The Nationals are not content with Wil Nieves as their starting catcher as they await a clean bill of health for Jesus Flores. Instead, they would like to get a catcher who can play every day in the event that Flores is not ready for Spring Training or Opening Day.
- Wood writes that while it is something of a long shot, the Nationals have the cash available this offseason to sign Rich Harden. While the 27-year-old wouldn't come cheap, he will not require the forfeiture of a draft pick as he is a Type B free agent.
Chico Harlan of the Washington Post chatted with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, and posted the full Q&A on his blog. A few hot stove highlights:
- Starter Scott Olsen had surgery in July to repair a small labrum tear in his pitching shoulder. Having earned $2.8MM this year, the Nats would have to pay him at least $2.24MM in 2010 if they tender him a contract. Rizzo said he's getting health reports on Olsen daily and the team will use the coming months to decide whether to non-tender him.
- Rizzo says closer Mike MacDougal has "done a great job." MacDougal represents another of the Nationals' many arbitration cases; he could earn $3MM+ in 2010.
- The Nationals consider Jesus Flores (shoulder surgery) the everyday catcher in 2010, but still may bring in another backstop for insurance.
- Rizzo seems satisfied with Elijah Dukes as the regular right fielder.
Let's kick it off today with some odds and ends.
- RotoAuthority discusses responding to lame trade offers in your fantasy league.
- Reliever Mike MacDougal will join the Nationals tomorrow, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Who knows, he could be closing for them by next week.
- Talking to Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune, Cubs GM Jim Hendry defended the Mark DeRosa trade. Here is my problem with it: it was a financially-motivated deal made by a big-market team, and did not bring back players who could help in 2009.
- According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the White Sox acquired journeyman minor league infielder Anderson Machado from the Pirates for a player to be named later.
- Padres exec Paul DePodesta explains the Jody Gerut for Tony Gwynn Jr. swap. DePodesta's third bullet point, money, had to be the overriding factor given Gwynn's negligible value around the league.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle sees Bobby Crosby as perhaps a more pressing trade situation for the A's than Matt Holliday.
- Dr. James Andrews found no structural damage in Brian Bruney's elbow, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Given the uncertainty, though, a bullpen acquisition would still make sense.
- It looks like the writing is on the wall for Astros manager Cecil Cooper. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle lists his offenses.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is skeptical the Cardinals will make a big move.
- Kiley McDaniel of Baseball Prospectus agrees that the Pirates are the favorite for Dominican talent Miguel Angel Sano, and says the Rays, Cubs, A's, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rangers, and Twins are also after him. It's speculated by McDaniel and elsewhere that the Pirates could budget less toward their fourth overall pick in June to compensate for Sano. John Perrotto of Inside Pittsburgh Sports says they like Kyle Gibson, Aaron Crow, Bobby Borchering, and Wil Myers. Tanner Scheppers did not give the Bucs permission to redraft him.
Links for Tuesday…
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that Mike MacDougal left the Nationals' Triple A club via an out clause, but could remain with the organization if they decide to promote him to the Majors.
- Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution speculates on some outfield options for the Braves.
- According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Chris Duffy accepted the Brewers' assignment to Triple A. Duffy was designated for assignment on May 22nd.
- For some reason, Scott Boras weighed in on the Padres' attempt to trade Jake Peavy (talking to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune). Boras suggested it might be a breach of contract, but Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod isn't as offended. Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald has more from Axelrod, who said, "the entire process was unfair."
- Howard Megdal of SNY campaigns for the Mets to acquire a passable shortstop, while retaining Ramon Castro and Brian Schneider as catchers.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo looks at the middle infielders in the upcoming draft. And MLB.com's Lisa Winston has a column on Grant Green.
- Talking to Jack Curry of the New York Times, C.C. Sabathia wondered about his six-year old son's possible high school future in New Jersey. Sabathia can choose to opt out of his contract after the 2011 season. Is this anything? The kid will be going to high school in eight years or so, so the contract will be up regardless. More telling might be Sabathia's comments to Jayson Stark earlier this month.
Memorial Day linkage…
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson says it's decision time for Mike MacDougal and the Nationals.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune transcribed comments made by White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf to ESPN 1000's Chuck Swirsky. Reinsdorf said the Sox are moving on from the Jake Peavy deal and also implied that no one is untouchable.
- Joe Maddon's three-year extension with the Rays is official.
- Craig Brazell agreed to a deal with the Hanshin Tigers, according to reports gathered by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Brazell had been playing for the St. Paul Saints after nothing materialized from an Orioles spring training invite.
- Murray Chass talks about Jeff Moorad's path to becoming part-owner of the Padres.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes about the D'Backs, who have seven of the first 64 draft picks.
- Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has an interesting article about minor league free agents.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com tells us that the Nationals have given right-hander Gary Glover his unconditional release following 10 appearances in which Glover totaled a 6.32 ERA with the Nationals Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse. Glover became replaceable once the Nationals inked Mike MacDougal to a minor league deal last week. MacDougal will join the major league club after a few weeks.
Ladson also cites acting general manager Mike Rizzo in saying that Jorge Sosa will soon be ready to join the Syracuse club on May 22, as his 50-game suspension wraps up. Sosa was suspended last year after testing positive for an amphetamine.
According to the Associated Press, via the Miami Herald, the Nationals have agreed to terms on a non-guaranteed minor league contract with right-hander Mike MacDougal.
According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, the White Sox released reliever Mike MacDougal today. He'd been designated for assignment a week ago. The White Sox will assume the $3MM remaining on his contract, less his salary for his new team.
The White Sox acquired MacDougal for pitchers Tyler Lumsden and Daniel Cortes back in July of 2006. That swap and MacDougal's extension were a couple of rare missteps for Sox GM Ken Williams.
According to WSCR 670 out of Chicago, White Sox reliever Mike MacDougal was designated for assignment to make room for Jack Egbert. MacDougal surprisingly broke camp with the Sox, but he's had a rough go of it in five appearances. He's still owed $3MM from the extension signed in December of '06.
The Chicago White Sox have announced their Spring Training invitees.
The White Sox invited 18 players: Left-handed pitching prospect Aaron Poreda and infield prospect Gordon Beckham; catchers Tyler Flowers and Donny Lucey; right-handed reliever Mike MacDougal joins fellow White Sox minor leaguers Poreda and Beckham as non-roster invitees.
These 13 signed minor-league deals with the White Sox: Infielders Javier Castillo, Bryan Myrow, Sergio Santos and Eider Torres; catchers Corky Miller and Chris Stewart; outfielders Josh Kroeger and Michael Restovich; right-handed pitchers Ryan Braun, Franklyn German, Brad Salmon and Jon Van Benschoten ; left-handed pitcher Randy Williams.