This is your semi-weekly/periodic wrap-up of Nats and other baseball news that caught my eye.
Nationals In General
- I hope its as a 4th outfielder: Nats reportedly interested in Mike Cameron.
- Hey guys, we can get Brian Bixler back!
Free Agents/Player Transaction News
- We hear from Albert Pujol‘s wife Dierdre, who says she was “mad at God” for having to leave St. Louis. I’m sorry; if you are “forced” to leave St. Louis so that you can earn $254M dollars instead of $210M, you don’t get to invoke “God” or any self-pity whatsoever. Is Pujol’s wife as out-of-touch as most modern athletes are? This almost reminds me of the infamous line from Latrell Sprewell, who turned down a $21M contract extension by saying that “I’ve got my family to feed.”
- DC-area native Joe Saunders was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks after failing to reach a multi-year deal. There were plenty of other non-tenders to talk about, but the West Springfield graduate immediately becomes a rather high-end FA starting pitcher when compared to the rest of the market. I don’t think he’s worth pursuing necessarily; he isn’t going to give us anything that we probably couldn’t expect to get out of Ross Detwiler at a fraction of the cost, and perhaps this is just a negotiating ploy by the Arizona GM. But its definitely fair to say that his arbitration cost would have probably been more than his actual worth on an annual salary basis.
- The Yu Darvish deadline passed on 5pm Wednesday, and all we know is that someone actually bid, and that there were a number of serious bidders. The NPB has four days to formally “accept” the offer, so will not know til next tuesday who “won.” I heard on SportsTalk 980 that the Nationals did not submit a bid, and here’s Adam Kilgore confirming in print. I’ve posted my opinion on Darvish in the past; i’m sure he’s talented, but don’t think he’s a 9-figure risk. Unsubstantiated early rumors list the Toronto Blue Jays as the posting winners.
- Good for Josh Willingham, signing a 3yr deal in Minnesota. Yes we could have used his offense in 2011. Willingham’s 2011 bWAR? 1.8 hitting in a horribly bad pitcher’s stadium. The players we got for him? Henry Rodriguez‘s 0.2 and Corey Brown‘s 0 (and subsequent removal from the 40-man roster). That was a good piece of business!
General Baseball News
- I kind of agree with Phil Wood‘s take on Ryan Braun‘s positive test, as printed here. If a player has been tested again and again, and then (say) gets a test mixed up or hits a false positive, and that test is leaked to the world, wouldn’t you be pretty pissed as well? I’m not saying that’s what happened here (since I have no involvement whatsoever), but such a scenario would play out pretty unfairly to the athlete in question. One can only hope that the “insanely high” levels of testosterone were either a testing mistake or a flawed test. Or possibly that Braun was surprised by the timing of the test and was doing what Victor Conte describes as a “truck sized loop hole” in the baseball drug testing.
- This story cracks me up: Derek Jeter sends the same “break-up present” consisting of a gift-basket with a hand-signed baseball to all his “conquests.” How did we find this out? Because he had a repeat hookup and apparently forgot that he had already sent one to her. Oops. Here’s the question: how do these women certify the signed baseball? Does it also come with a certificate of authenticity?
- The title of this article says it all: “MLB increasingly concerned about Mets’ financing.” Yeah, I would be too. Another excellent hand-picked owner from your commissioner Bud Selig
General News; other
- The verb “Tebowing” is now being recognized as an official word. At least its not ebonics. At least not everyone is taking this thing seriously; see here for a fantastic new Tebowing-themed beer label.
- Thank god for this clause in the new CBA: players are going to be banned from getting corporate logo tattoos. Its too bad; I’m pretty sure I just heard that Stephen Strasburg is getting the Dairy Queen logo tattooed on the small of his back, tramp-stamp style.