Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner is 87 years old and it isn’t unreasonable to assume he wants to win and soon.. The Nats are coming off of the best record in MLB, but had a first round playoff exit largely because the tired bullpen couldn’t hold a lead.
Superagent Scott Boras is well aware of Lerner’s wants and is the agents of several Nats players, some that were drafted by the team (Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa), others than were picked up in free agency like Jayson Werth and the departed Rick Ankiel. Add to this Rafael Soriano, last year’s New York Yankees closer, who just signed with the Nats yesterday. So, did Boras find a sugar daddy in Lerner? Probably, but it isn’t the first time he’s done this and I think it has worked out for the Detroit Tigers (2 pennants in six years).
Two years, $28 million (though some of it is apparently deferred). This looks like a great signing, regardless of money, because who cares about the money. Here’s the Post story (
Rafael Soriano and Washington Nationals agree to terms on two-year contract worth $28 million) from Adam Kilgore who also speculated on signing Soriano on January 6 (What about Rafael Soriano?)
Thomas Boswell notes they are ALL IN.
Drew Storen wasn’t the only reliever to break down in Game 5, both Edwin Jackson (why was he in there?) and Tyler Clippard gave up runs. Storen blew it, but he had help and got squeezed on strike calls. I think he’s been scapegoated too much. He probably just got a jolt and wont’ get as many save opportunities, but will still get some in Davey Johnson’s A/B bullpen strategy.
Clippard’s arm is going to fall off sometime soon — he’s been so overworked the last few years. Bullpen depth is going to be critical.
Persumably, a full season of Strasburg and other starters being more seasoned means longer outings and the bullpen not getting worn out. That proved to be a problem in October.
This should be fun.
Stephen Strasburg’s surgeon on Nationals shutdown: ‘I wasn’t asked’ – L.A. Times
UPDATE: The story has changed, or so they say. Here is the original report:
Remember that #strasburgopinons contest The Post did? Seems an important one was missed…
So, Washington Nationals general manager never consulted with Stephen Strasburg‘s elbow surgeon, Lewis Yocum in making the shutdown decision?
OF COURSE HE DIDN’T! (or maybe he did)
Wow, just wow.
So, Rizzo has some explaining to do. He basically got caught not doing his homework, outright lying, just being Scott Boras’ puppet or probably some of all three. Amazing.
I feel really badly for Strasburg he’s having to deal with this B.S. I’ve been on-board with shutting him down too, but whiskey-tango-foxtrot Rizzo. I expect Boras to have his own agenda, but my concerns that some of this is “LOOK AT ME, I AM SO IN CHARGE” behavior by Rizzo is completely valid.
Being a D.C. sports fan is pretty interesting. I’m too dumbfounded to be upset.
Stephen Strasburg surgeon clarifies role in pitcher’s shutdown – L.A. Times
Dr. Lewis Yocum had told the Los Angeles Times that he “wasn’t asked” by the Nationals about whether to shut down Strasburg and had not discussed the subject with General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year.
On Thursday, Yocum clarified his comments by saying he and the Nationals — as well as Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras — had agreed last year that the team would limit Strasburg’s innings this season. Over the course of this year, Yocum said, he has spoken with Rizzo and the Nationals’ medical staff but has left to the team the decisions about how and when to shut down Strasburg.
Yocum and Rizzo spoke on Aug. 13, as Strasburg approached his innings limit. The Nationals ended Strasburg’s season after his Sept. 7 start.
Okay. Weird story, somebody isn’t being honest I don’t think.
Due to yesterday’s rainout, the Washington Nationals split a series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Um, yay? Friday night ¡LIVAN! was awesome going 6 2/3 inning and getting 2 hits (mlb.com video). Saturday night, well at least John Lannan made a great play in an otherwise debacle of a ball game (mlb.com video), an 11-3 loss filled with errors.
Today in The Post, Jayson Werth is profiled as he tries to turn his season around which may be happening. While I agree that the disappointing four months we’ve seen so far don’t matter long-term, I’m feel a little uneasy. Also, his former manager, Charlie Manuel is quoted extensively, seeming to suggest not to worry. I’ll admit I’m a little skeptical of ol’ Cholly though. He plays the aw shucks demeanor about the Nats from time to time, but I can’t help but feel he’s being disingenuous.
Scott Boras probably wants to remind us and the Nats that the deadline to sign 2011 draft picks is tonight (The Nats Enquirer) and I think all the the major ones will sign. Forgive me if I don’t stay up and wait.
I listened to Friday’s game on MLB Audio and thought Charlie Slowes did well as the single-combat warrior with Dave Jageler filling in on MASN. I didn’t see or listen to any of Saturday’s game, so I cannot comment on Slowes and Todd Kalas or on Jageler’s TV performance. If they break apart the Slowes-Jageler pairing, I’ll be disappointed, but understand.
Radio-TV simulcast anyone?
Oh look, Thomas Boswell is back chatting!
Washington Nationals sign Bryce Harper to $9.9 million contract – The Post
Zuckerman: Nats Sign Harper Before Deadline – CSN Washington
Nats, top pick Harper agree to five-year deal – nationals.com
With Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals now have three franchise players – The Post
The Washington Nationals signed #1 overall pick Bryce Harper to a $9.9 million major league contract with a $6.25 million signing bonus included. The 17 year old former Sports Illustrated cover boy is expected to play in the minor leagues for 2-3 years. Nats scouting director Kris Kline compared Harper to Jason Heyward. Kline, who had drafted Heyward while with the Atlanta Braves would not elaborate on which one he thought had more potential.
The contract terms were not agreed to until 11:59 p.m. yesterday, coming down to the wire. Harper actually signed later than Stephen Strasburg did last year. Both players are represented by uber agent Scott Boras, so this was not unexpected. Nats president Stan Kasten and Mike Rizzo both expressed that they had doubts up until the final minute that the deal would get done. Kasten celebrated by sticking a shaving cream pie in Rizzo’s face. Someone else put the Silver Elvis wig (remember that? On Elvis death day too) on Rizzo.
Harper will join the Gulf Coast League and likely the Arizona Fall League. He will be introduced to D.C. during the Nats next homestand.
More draft coverage coming over lunch.