Tagged: Nationals

Yesterday in Baseball: Justin Upton, Derek Jeter, Boston Red Sox

* Justin Upton talks heated up in the GM meetings, with conculded yesterday. The team we heard the most were the Boston Red Sox, but according to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the Arizona Diamondbacks are looking for Daniel Bard and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Red Sox are unlikely to part with those two, when they can sign Jayson Werth for just money.

 Other teams interested are the Yankees, Rockies, Padres, Dodgers and Rays.

 

* Derek Jeter was reportedly offered a 3 year $42 mm contract by the Yankees. If I were him, I would jump on that. But according to sources, Jeter is looking for at least a four year deal, and maybe up to six.

 

* The Tigers began talks with Adam Dunn yesterday, and even thought reports origanlly indicated they were deep into talks, they were just preliminary. The Tigers are also known to be targeting Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez and Manny Rameriz. It is possible they could sign Martinez and Dunn

 

Rumor Roundup….

The Rockies are interested in both Upton and Gavin Floyd and Kevin Millwood

Jonathan Papelbon is unlikely to be traded

Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays interested in Miguel Olivo

Orioles interested in De La Rosa

Josh Willingham getting trade interest

Hello Offseason: Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are a very interesting case. They have been in last place in the NL East every year since moving from Montreal, and this year was no exception. However, it feels like they are a better team, with a better future.

The obvious reason there is Stephen Strasburg, but now we may not see him again until 2013. Jordan Zimmermann has returned from Tommy John surgery, and the Nationals have a load of young players. Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa, Justin Maxwell, Ian Desmond, and Roger Bernadina. They also have a stacked farm system with almost ready top prospects. I get a feeling the Nationals are going to be good in the near future.

Let’s take a look at the pitching first. They have an OK staff, with Livan Hernandez, Zimmerman, John Lannan, Jason Marquis, and Scott Olson. Hernandez is a solid veteran pitcher, and had a good season in 2010 with a 3.66 ERA. Zimmermann struggled after returning, with a 4.94 earned run average, but he will return to form. John Lannan, the Nationals opening day starter for two straight seasons, fell off the face of the earth this year, and Washington even sent him down to double A at one point. Marquis had an absolutely terrible year, with a 6.60 ERA. I thought he might have been back in form when he had a good year with Colorado, but he just tanked it in Washington. Olsen is just bad. He is just a bad pitcher, I don’t have to say any more about him.

The closer for the Nationals is their first round pick from 2009, Drew Storen. He put up an ERA of 3.58 this season, with 52 strikeouts in 55 innings. Tyler Clippard, another young pitcher in the Nationals pen, put up a good season with a 3.07. Sean Burnett, who was acquired from Pittsburgh last season, had an ERA of 2.14. Miguel Batista put up a 3.70, and Doug Slaten a 3.10. That is a very good looking bullpen right there, and one of the reasons this team has a bright future.

Going into the season I had an eye on the Nationals offense. I was curious to see what they could do. We all know that they do have some offensive stars, like Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, and Ivan Rodriguez. But what other good offensive players do they have?

Ian Desmond had a good first season, hitting .269 with 10 home runs and 65 RBIs. The OBP of .308 is a little concerning. Danny Espinosa, 23 years old, became the starting second baseman after Christian Guzman was traded. He hit only .214 in 103 at bats, but he also have 6 home runs. Willie Harris did have only 224 at bats, but he had a horrendous year. he hit .183 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. Nyjer Morgan did not have a good season, hitting .253 with no home runs and 24 RBIs in 509 at bats. Mike Morse had a solid season, hitting .289 in 266 at bats with 15 home runs and an OBP of .352. Justin Maxwell had only 104 at bats, but hit only .144. Bernadia hit .246 in 414 at bats with 11 home runs.

Now let’s look at some more known offensive players. Adam Dunn did not reach his 40 home runs, but he hit 38. Dunn hit for a .260 average with 103 RBIs in a contract year. Ryan Zimmerman had another MVP like season that no one noticed, hitting .307 with 25 home runs and 85 RBIs. Ivan Rodriguez did not have a fantastic year with only 4 home runs, but he got the job done for Washington with 49 RBIs.

 

The Nationals have an interesting future, one I will be watching very closely. They can not be fixed overnight, but I believe they took a step forward this season.

 

Spring Training Parks and Schedule

Last year I went to roughly 15 spring games. I’ll go to about the same amount this year, I’ve seen Ft.Lauderdale, where the Orioles used to play. Ft.Myers, home of the Red Sox. Bradenton, where the Pirates play. Orlando, with the Braves. In Viera beach for the Nats. Lakeland, home of the Tigers. I’ve seen the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter. And Pt.Charlotte for the Rays. This year I will go to games in Ft.Myers(Red Sox and Twins) Pt.Charlotte(Rays), Dunedin(Jays), Kissimmee(Astros), Bradenton(Pirates) and Sarasota(Orioles). My first game is this Friday at Twins. It’s the first time I’ve seen that park. After this year the only parks I won’t have seen in the grapefruit league are the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies. I am right behind the Red Sox dugout for most games. Best seats I;ve ever had at any sporting event. I hope to get some player autographs. Last year I got Joe Maddon in Ft.Myers, and Cesar Cedeno in Viera.

I will see Lester/Wakefield Friday, and I’ll see Buchholz Sunday in Sarasota. I really want to see Kelly pitch this year. That would be so awesome! Anyways, I love spring training games. It gets you so pumped for the reaguler season. Go Red Sox! Remember to ask questions on the mailbag! I’ll post any pictures I get here at the blog! I had some I wanted to put here, but the computer is not coroperating!

10 Thoughts: Red Sox

Thought #1: I love the offense. It is so deep at the bottom of the order. When you have JD Drew batting eighth, you are in good shape.

Thought #2: The Red Sox signed a guy named Boof. That can’t be a good thing.

Thought #3: I am exited about the personality on the team this year. Adding a guy like John Lackey is very helpfull for that. The team is too boring, with Ellsbury, Drew, Lester, etc. Now you have personalites like Pedroia, Ortiz, Papelbon, Lackey. They need that, I think.

Thought #4: The Washington Nationals will have a better record than the New York Mets. They have better pitching, other than Santana, but he’s injury prone anyways.

Thought #5: The Orioles will be out of the cellar this season. The Blue Jays will take their place.

Thought #6: Daniel Bard is changing his number from 60 to 51. I don’t get why. I can understand Ellsbury with 46 and 2, that is a drastic difference. But 51? Really? Is that any better than 60? Fun fact: The last Red Sox player to wear #51 was Enrique Gonzalez.

Thought #7: I like Tim Wakefield’s competitive attitude. He expects to start the season in the rotation, and we all know that’s not happening. But I love the competitvness.

Thought #8: I can not believe that Randy Winn is the starting LF for the Yankees.

Thought #9: It is kind of weird having Lackey, though. I always hated him when he was with the Angels. He was always an annoying loudmouth when it came to the Red Sox. And he nearly no-hit them, which is one of my worst fears. So it’s odd rooting for him, but I’m fine with it.

Thought #10: I can’t think of anything else, so go to BestBostonSports.com for Red Sox coverage all season! Spring Training game preveiws are already up!

MLB Season Predictions

Standings:

AL East:

New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox

Tampa Bay Rays

Baltimore Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays

 

AL Central:

Minnesota Twins

Chicago White Sox

Kansas City Royals

Detroit Tigers

Cleveland Indians

 

AL West:

Seattle Mariners

Anaheim Angels

Texas Rangers

Oakland A’s

 

NL East:

Philadelphia Phillies

Florida Marlins

Atlanta Braves

Washington Nationals

New York Mets

 

NL Central:

St.Louis Cardinals

Chicago Cubs

Cincinatti Reds

Milwakee Brewers

Houston Astros

Pittsburgh Pirates

 

NL West:

LA Dodgers

Colorado Rockies

San Fransisco Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks

San Diego Padres

 

AL MVP Top 3:

Evan Longoria- Rays

Joe Mauer- Twins

Kendry Morales- Angels

 

Red Sox MVP:

Jacoby Ellsbury

 

AL Cy Young Top 3:

Jon Lester- Red Sox

Zack Greinke- Royals

Cliff Lee- Mariners

 

Red Sox Cy Young:

Lester

 

NL MVP Top 3:

Albert Pujols- Cardinals

Jayson Werth- Phillies

Ryan Braun- Brwers

 

NL CY Youn Top 3:

Josh Johnson- Marlins

Tim Lincecum- Giants

Carlos Zambrano- Cubs

 

AL ROY:

Desmond Jennings- Rays

 

NL ROY:

Jason Heyward- Braves

 

Bold Predictions:

The Baltimore Orioles will compete with the Rays for the #3 spot in the AL East

The Royals will have a record around .500

Mike Cameron will hit 25 HRs

The Reds will finish over .500

The Blue Jays will have the second worst record in baseball, ahead of only the Mets

I will be right about at least one thing here(I told you, bold predictions)

MLB Free Agent Signings: Starting Pitchers

Here is a list of every MLB free agent signing to this point. You can also see this list at Soxtime.com. I will update this with every signing.

Name:                        Position         Old Team        Rumored teams:          Signed with:         $:

Erik Bedard              SP               Seattle        Boston, Baltimore

Paul Byrd                  SP               Boston        None 

Aroldis Chapman   SP               Cuba            Boston, NYY   

Jose Contreas       SP              Colorado      Colorado

Doug Davis              SP              Arizona         Milwakee

Justin Duchscher  SP             Oakland         Oakland, Boston, CHC

Kelvim Escobar      SP             Anaheim        Boston

Jon Garland            SP             Los Angeles  Baltimore, Anaheim

Mike Hampton       SP             Houston           Atlanta

Rich Harden           SP             CHC                  Boston, Seattle

Livan Herndandez SP            Washington    Washington

Randy Johnson      SP          San Fransisco   None

John Lackey         SP            Anaheim            Boston, Texas, Baltimore, Anaheim

Brandon Looper  SP           Milwakee            Milwakee

Jason Marquis     SP          Colorado             NYM

Pedro Martinez    SP          Philadelphia       Philadelphia

Brett Myers          SP          Philadelphia       NYY, Boston

Vincente Padilla   SP         Los Angeles      Houston

Carl Pavano          SP         Minnesota          Minnesota

Brad Penny          SP         San Fransisco    San Fransisco

Andy Pettitte       SP          NYY                      NYY

Joel Pinero          SP        St. Louis               St.Louis, Boston, Seattle

Ben Sheets          SP       Milwakee              Boston, NYY, Texas

John Smoltz        SP       St.Louis                St.Loius, Texas

Jarrod Washburn SP     Detroit                   Seattle

Todd Wellemeyer SP   St.Louis                 None

Randy Wolf              SP  Los Angeles        LA, Texas, Atlanta

 

 

 

MLB Off-Season Moves

Here is every off-season transaction so far. I will update this for every transaction.

Red Sox

Traded Hunter Jones and Jose Alverez for Jeremy Hermida

Declined Alex Gonzalez’s option

Re-signed Tim Wakefield

Picked up Victor Martinez’s option

Declined Jason Varitek’s option

Signed Marco Scutaro

Rays

Re-signed Gabe Kapler

Traded Akonori Iwamora for Jessse Chavez

Picked up Carl Crawford’s option

Declined Gregg Zaun’s option

Declined Brian Shouse’s option

Traded for Kelly Shoppach

Athletics

Aquired Jake Fox and Aaron Miles

Angels

Re-signed Bobby Abreu

Astros

Re-signed Geoff Blum

Declined Doug Brocial’s option

Blue Jays

Claimed Jarret Hoffpauer off waivers

Claimed Sean Henn off waivers

Lost Joe Inglett to waivers

Signed Alex Gonzalez

Brewers

Traded JJ Hardy for Carlos Gomez

Signed Greg Zaun

Braves

Signed Scott Procter

Extended Tim Hudson

Signed Billy Wagner

Signed Takashi Saito

Diamondbacks

Picked up Brandon Webb’s option

Declined Chad Tracey’s option

Dodgers

Declined Jon Garland’s option

Manny Rameriz picks up his player option

Giants

Re-signed Freddy Sanchez

Mariners

Claimed Yusmiero Petitt off waivers

Extended Jack Wilson

Signed Chone Figgins

Marlins

Traded Jeremy Hermida for Hunter Jones and Jose Alverez

Declined option on Ross Gload

Mets

Declined JJ Putz’s option

Nationals

Claimed Doug Slaton off waivers

Declined option on Austin Kearns

Phillies

Picked up Cliff Lee’s option

Decline Pedro Feliz’s option

Signed Placido Polonco

Pirates

Traded Jesse Chavez for Akonori Iwamora

Rangers

Released Jason Grilli

Claimed Joe Inglett off waivers

Rockies

Re-signed Matt Belise and Randy Flores

Decline option on Yorvitt Torrealba

Decline option on Alan Embree

Royals

Traded Mark Teahen for Chris Getz and Josh Fields

Twins

Traded Carlos Gomez for JJ Hardy

Picked up Micheal Cuddeyer’s option

White Sox

Traded Chris Getz and Josh Feilds for Mark Teahen

Declined Jermaine Dye’s option

Re-sgned Mark Kotsay