Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:14 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Ryan Zimmerman would like to have his contract settled by Saturday morning, giving the Nationals a deadline, he told reporters, including CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman.
The last stick point is a no-trade clause -- something the Nationals gave Jayson Werth and it's believed they offered to free-agents Mark Buehrle and Prince Fielder this offseason.
Zimmerman, 27, will make $12 million this season and $14 million in 2013. According to Heyman, the money involved in the extension isn't the issue. If the sides can agree to a deal, it's expected to be for about $18 million per season, according to Heyman.
That, to the Zimmerman camp, is seen as a team-friendly deal, which is why he'd want the no-trade clause. If Zimmerman, a Virginia native, is taking less money to stay with the Nationals, he wants to be assured he will be able to stay with the Nationals.
"The important part of me signing this deal is to be here, not to sign a deal that's team-friendly to have it with another team," Zimmerman said (via the Washington Post). "That's the whole point of doing it. … I wouldn't sign a deal like this for the Red Sox or the Yankees or the Dodogers or any other team."
Zimmerman has said he set the deadline so that it doesn't become a distraction as the team prepares for the season. Because Zimmerman is signed through the 2013 season, he said it's not crucial that he gets an extension now.
"If it happens, I'm thrilled," Zimmerman said (via the Washington Post). "If not, I've got two years left here still. I'm excited for this year. We've got a great team. We've got a chance to do something special, something we've not done with this organization. I think all of us are kind of ready to get to work and get going.
"It's not like this is the last year. It's not make-or-break. Getting this done would obviously make them not have to worry about it this year or next year or next offseason."
Any no-trade clause would need to be only for the first three seasons. By the third season, he would gain no-trade rights by being a 10-year veteran with five years with his current team.
If the Nationals don't sign Zimmerman and allow him to leave after the 2013 season, that could be just the time needed for 2011 first-round Anthony Rendon to be ready to take over at third base. If Zimmerman does stay, he could move to first base at some point to make room for Rendon. Of course, there's also no guarantee Rendon pans out, either.
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Posted on: February 20, 2012 7:37 pm
By Matt Snyder
Much of the attention in Nationals camp this spring will focus on the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez. There will surely be talk of Jayson Werth, Wilson Ramos and Mike Morse for varying reasons as well. But a major storyline that's lying in the weeds and could be an issue as soon as 2013 is Ryan Zimmerman vs. 2011 first-round pick Anthony Rendon at third base.
Rendon, 21, is a third baseman by trade, though he had played second base some in college, too. Speculation from many of the scouting websites (Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, etc.) have him being big-league ready very soon, as early as the start of the 2013 season. And they also say he's best suited for third base, even a plus defender there, while he'd be below average at second or short.
Of course, in Zimmerman, the Nationals have a 27-year-old third baseman who has won a Gold Glove. The issue, however, is that Zimmerman regressed on defense in 2011. Injuries hampered his range (Fangraphs.com's UZR/150 score for Zimmerman was 17.8 in 2010 and -4.4 in 2011) and he had to develop a new throwing motion to try and protect himself from further injury. That new throwing motion caused accuracy issues, too. The Nats Blog made a good case a few weeks ago that Zimmerman could easily be the Nationals' first baseman of the future, with Rendon sliding right in at third.
For now, Zimmerman is saying all the right things.
“I think I want to play third base until someone is better than me at it,” Zimmerman said (Nationals Journal). “I think there’s teams that move people. I’ve said it all along — I want to be here as long as I can. I want to play my whole career here. If that means me playing third base for five more years and then moving somewhere because someone is better than me at third and it’ll help us win, then I’ll do it. If that means me playing third base for 10 years and then going to first base or wherever, then I’ll do it. I don’t care."
Rendon will be getting reps at third base, shortstop and second base in camp, and he gave the requisite due to Zimmerman.
“Oh, yeah, sure, he’s going to be here a long time, I’m pretty sure,” Rendon said (Nationals Journal). “He’s an all-star. He’s a great player. I’m not coming here to take anything away from him. He’s set in stone. I’m not trying to ruin that.”
It's very interesting to think about all the options moving forward, depending upon how things shake out. If Rendon pans out at second, Danny Espinosa could shift to shortstop and take out Ian Desmond. If Rendon needs to be at third and Zimmerman's health issues at third continue, Zimmerman could shift across the diamond. Of course, then the Nationals have nowhere to move Mike Morse when they acquire an upgrade in center field and have Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper at the corners.
This is all just something to think about, with no immediate urgency. Regardless, if Rendon develops into an All-Star-caliber bat -- as many believe he will -- Washington has a very nice problem on its hands.
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Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: December 12, 2011 11:56 am
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
We continue the series today with the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos. Yeah, remember them -- the best team in baseball in 1994 before the strike ended the season without a World Series? If you don't, you'll need to be reminded of a certain Bartolo Colon trade, which ended up being awful for the Expos, who got 17 starts from Colon after coughing up three future All-Stars for him. What we see is a team that looks pretty good, but has loads of young talent either already developing in the bigs or soon to be arriving.
1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Danny Espinosa, 1B
7. Ian Desmond, SS
8. Brian Schneider, C
1. Cliff Lee
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Jordan Zimmermann
4. Javier Vazquez
5. John Lannan
Closer - Drew Storen
Set up - Bill Bray, Craig Stammen, Collin Balester, Miguel Batista
Long - Armando Galarraga, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Ross Detwiler
Notable Bench Players
Bryce Harper, Chris Marrero, Wilson Valdez, Anthony Rendon, Jamey Carroll, Orlando Cabrera, Geoff Blum and Roger Bernadina.
The starting rotation is really good, especially if you start to think about the future. Much like the real Nats, Peacock, Milone and Detwiler all have the potential to break through and really make this a strong top-to-bottom rotation. Here, you have a perennial Cy Young candidate sitting at the top, too. The batting order definitely has the potential to be good, but there are a lot of question marks, so we can't really be overly excited about it. But, much like with the rotation, there is some serious potential on the way in Harper and Rendon. Finally, the bench is really good. This team has depth.
And in case you're curious, the three All-Stars the Expos gave up for Colon were Sizemore, Phillips and Lee. None of the three had made their major-league debut at the time of the trade.
If we were really going to stick Vlad in right field, we'd have to pray no one hit the ball out there. Should I have gotten more creative and put Vlad at first, moving Espinosa out to right? Maybe. We could move Vlad to 1B and throw Harper into the fire, play Bernadina in the outfield and move Vlad to first or just bench Guerrero. I'm open to any idea, but the idea I used was to maximize the offense. Hey, it worked when the Cardinals put Lance Berkman in right this past real season, right? Also, Schneider is a pretty bad catching option at this point, but there were zero other options on current 40-man rosters or in free agency in the MLB (which is what we used to build these rosters). Finally, the bullpen is very thin in front of Storen in the late innings.
Comparison to real 2011
The real-life Nats are just on the cusp of breaking through, though it'll be tough in the stacked NL East. These Nats would be a bit better with the legitimate ace Lee and a great bench. Maybe mid-80s in wins, but with tons of help on the way. Much like with the real Nats, it's kind of a "watch out next year" type deal -- with the likes of Harper, Rendon, Peacock and Milone waiting in the wings while Strasburg, Zimmermann, Storen, Espinosa et al continue to get better.
Next: Boston Red Sox
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Tags: Anthony Rendon, Armando Galarraga, Bill Bray, Brad Peacock, Brandon Phillips, Brian Schneider, Bryce Harper, Chris Marrero, Cliff Lee, Collin Balester, Craig Stammen, Danny Espinosa, Drew Storen, Expos, Geoff Blum, Grady Sizemore, Homegrown, Ian Desmond, Jamey Carroll, Jason Bay, Javier Vazquez, John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann, Matt Snyder, Miguel Batista, Nationals, NL East, Orlando Cabrera, Roger Bernadina, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Tom Milone, Vladimir Guerrero, Wilson Valdez
Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:53 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The last couple of days showed us some of the best of baseball, five walkoffs on Tuesday, Jim Thome's 600th home run on Monday, triple plays both Monday and Tuesday and so much more. But Monday night we saw one of the things that needs to be fixed, and that's the signing deadline for draft picks.
Yesterday I touched on this, but I suggested just moving it from midnight to a more reasonable hour. That was a selfish wish. Hall of Famer George Brett tells the Kansas City Star that the deadline needs to be moved up more than a month to something like July 4.
The reason is simple, the development of players is stunted by a year and the posturing could hurt players. According to Brett, the Royals and Scott Boras, the "advisor" for their top pick, Bubba Starling, didn't even start talking until 10:30 p.m. on Monday night. The two sides then agreed to a deal with 20-40 seconds left, Brett said.
"If they made the deadline July 4, these guys would sign July 4 and the guy would jump on the plane and play some real baseball rather than go to Arizona when the season is almost over after not picking up a ball and a bat for how long … and playing football … he's not baseball ready," Brett told the newspaper. "It's going to take him a while."
Instead of playing baseball and cashing checks, Starling was working out with the Nebraska football team as a negotiating ploy, showing that he was "serious" that he'd turn down millions of dollars to play football. He was also risking injury and his future with no guarantee.
That said, with the way money was thrown around on Monday night, it seems to make little sense to sign early. The teams showed that players who wait to sign until the deadline will be rewarded. An agent I spoke to on Tuesday said he's had players sign early in the past -- which is all well and good for the teams, but did he do his players' a disservice by not waiting until the end? In his previous cases, no, it was still the right thing to do. But next time? When the 27th player picked gets $800,000 above slot, the waiting game pays. That's not going to change, the way to fix that it to shorten the wait.
Pirates' booty: Speaking of the draft signings, the Pirates spent $17 million in signing bonuses for their draft picks. While there are negatives, for Pittsburgh, this is a positive. For many years teams like the Royals and Pirates wouldn't draft the best available player in the draft, instead drafting the best available player that would fit into their budget. The Royals gave Bubba Starling a huge contract and the Pirates gave out several, including an $8 million signing bonus to No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole and $5 million for second-rounder Josh Bell. Last season we heard about how the Pirates weren't spending their luxury tax gains, but now we see an actual plan and owner Bob Nutting is putting money into the team. [MLB.com]
Right player, wrong position: Living in Cincinnati I've seen this before -- teams in MLB will often pick the best player available in the draft, regardless of position, now Yonder Alonso is in the big leagues with the Reds and has little to do because Joey Votto isn't going to sit the bench for him. The Nationals saw a player some considered to be the best in the draft fall to them and couldn't pass up Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, despite already having a 26-year-old at third base in Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals are happy to have Rendon and let that problem play out. [MASNSports.com]
Bundy eyes 2013: Orioles first-round pick Dylan Bundy said his plan is to be in the big leagues in 2013. The right-hander would be 20 in 2013. Brett would tell him if he was serious about that, he maybe should have signed sooner. [Baltimore Sun]
Overrated Howard: Baseball-Reference.com's Sean Forman made the argument in the New York Times that Philadelphia's Ryan Howard is not an elite hitter. The bigger argument was about overvaluing the RBI -- the stat that Howard provides much of Howard's worth. It does certainly help that he plays for the Phillies and has some pretty decent players in front of him in the lineup.
Umps visit kids: Jerry Meals may be Public Enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh, but not to 3-year-old Emily Berger. Berger, who had undergone surgery on Monday, was one of the children visited by a group of MLB umpires to visit a children's hospital on Tuesday. Meals, who famously blew the call at home plate to end a 19-inning game in Atlanta for Pittsburgh loss, and the rest of his crew hosted a Build-A-Bear workshop for dozens of children. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
Sizemore improving: The Indians hope Grady Sizemore can return next month after he started baseball activities on Tuesday as part of his rehab from a right knee injury and a sports hernia surgery. [MLB.com]
Mariners doing well: Jack Zduriencik won the offseason according to many before the 2010 season, and we saw how that worked. But even with that in hindsight, it appears Zduriencik has had a good couple of weeks despite his team's fall in the standings over the last two months. [Seattle Times]
More Thome: If you haven't had enough of Jim Thome (and really, it's not like we've even got to a tenth of the DJ3K madness yet), his hometown paper, the Peoria JournalStar put together a fantastic package looking back on his life and career. Make sure you check it out.
Give the people what they want: Nice job by the Brewers' promotion department with the announcement of "Tony Plush Rally Towels" for the Sept. 9 game against the Phillies. "Tony Plush" is the "gentleman's name" of outfielder Nyjer Morgan. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
Hi, bye: Outfielder Jonny Gomes was traded from the Reds to the Nationals last month, but he wasn't informed until just before the Reds' game started, meaning he wasn't able to say goodbye to his teammates in Cincinnati. Now a member of the Nationals, Gomes got to say both hello and goodbye to the Reds when the team started their series in Washington. [Cincinnati Enquirer]
Cut those sideburns: Monday was the 20th anniversary of Don Mattingly sitting out a game for refusing to cut his hair. [MLB.com]For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Anthony Rendon, Brewers, Bubba Starling, C. Trent Rosecrans, Curtis Granderson, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Dylan Bundy, George Brett, Gerrit Cole, Grady Sizemore, Indians, Jack Zduriencik, Jerry Meals, Jim Thome, Jonny Gomes, Josh Bell, Mariners, MLB draft, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Nyjer Morgan, Orioles, Pepper, Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Royals, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Twins, umpires, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: June 4, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: June 4, 2011 7:15 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
It looks as if the Pirates will take UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 pick in Monday's first round of the MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dejan Kovacevic reports.
Cole is 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA for the Bruins this season, striking out 119 in 114 1/3 innings, walking 24. Despite his good, but not great numbers, he throws 100 mph and stands 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and has no injury history.
The Yankees took Cole with their first-round pick in 2008, 28th overall. Instead, he chose to go to UCLA.
Friday, I took a look at nine other names you should know for Monday's first round of the draft.
Most expect the Mariners, with the No. 2 pick, to take a position player. That will likely be Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon -- or they could surprise and take Kansas high school outfielder Bubba Starling.@cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:44 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The baseball draft is certainly a different animal than its football or basketball counterparts. There's not a lot of hype leading up to the draft. It's being televised for just the fifth time this season, and chances are you've never seen any of the top prospects play.
There are plenty of negatives to the way the baseball draft goes, but there are plenty of positives, too. While in three of the past four televised drafts, the No. 1 pick has been a slam-dunk, sure thing, three days out from this year's first round (Monday, 7 p.m. ET on MLB Network), the question of who the Pirates will take is still just that -- a question.
The last two seasons, the Nationals took Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper -- two no-doubt, easy picks. In 2007, the first year the draft was on TV, there was little to no doubt that David Price would be selected by the Rays. In 2008, Tampa took high school shortstop Tim Beckham over the likes of Buster Posey, Eric Hosmer and Gordon Beckham.
This year is more like 2008 than the others in the TV era, and not just because Gerrit Cole will be selected in the first round of both drafts.
Cole, taken No. 28 overall by the Yankees in 2008, is considered the most likely choice of the Pirates on Monday, but others could be considered.
So, starting with Cole, here are the 10 names you need to know leading up to this year's draft, which starts Monday:
Cole, RHP, UCLA -- Cole throws 100 mph, which is something that's pretty special and tough to pass up.
Matt Barnes, RHP, UConn -- Barnes dominated in the Cape Cod League last year. At 6-foot-4, he has an ideal build to go with a mid-90s fastball and a hammer of a curve.
Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA -- UCLA's other starter has drawn comparisons to Tim Lincecum because of his unorthodox motion. He's a devotee of long-toss, which could scare off some teams.
Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS -- Bradley has signed a scholarship to play quarterback at Oklahoma, but a top-10 signing bonus can certainly change that.
Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS -- The top high school pitcher in the draft has what some are already calling a major-league ready fastball and curveball. His 6-foot frame is about the only knock against him.
Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia -- The Diamondbacks drafted the lefty three years ago out of high school in the 10th round and most expect them to do so again on Monday with the third overall pick.
Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas -- A 6-foot-6 right-hander who went 13-0 for the Longhorns this season. He had a 0.95 ERA in 15 starts, striking out 116 in 122 2/3 innings.
Francisco Lindor, SS, Montverde (Fla.) Academy -- The top high school infielder doesn't have the great power that others have, but he's a very good defender at shortstop and is a switch hitter.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice -- If the Pirates don't take Cole with the top pick, they could take Rendon, who was relegated to DHing this season because of a shoulder strain. Still, when healthy, he has a plus arm to go along with plus power and a plus hit tool. A solid defender at third base, he played just eight games in the field this season.
Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton (Kan.) HS -- Starling may have as much potential as anyone in the draft, but he may be the biggest risk. Like Bradley, he's also a quarterback and there are reports that he will go to Nebraska in July regardless of where he's drafted.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 4:42 pm
Scouts had already been debating whether Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon was worthy of being the top pick in the 2011 draft. But Rendon now has much more immediate concerns.
Rendon suffered a serious ankle fracture and dislocation Wednesday night in an exhibition game for the USA Baseball Collegiate Team, and will require surgery. His Team USA season is over.
Rendon was caught in a first-inning rundown in a game against Korea in Cary, N.C., and caught his right leg underneath him, according to witnesses. He was carted off the field.
What makes the injury even more of a concern for his future is the fact that an injury to the same ankle caused him to miss all of last summer. In the 2009 injury he tore two ligaments. Even assuming Rendon fully recovers this time, the health of his ankle is going to be of paramount concern for his prospective professional employers.
"I think it's important in many ways that we do this right, not just to Anthony but to baseball," Rice coach Wayne Graham told Baseball America on Thursday. "He's a young man that has a chance to be a credit to the game and a pleasure to a lot of people—you, me, the country. Maybe I'm overplaying this, but I'm just crazy about Anthony."
Rendon was the winner of the Howser Award this year as the top college player in the country, as named by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes. He batted .394 with 25 homers and 85 RBIs in 63 games for Rice. His slugging percentage was a stunning .801 and his OPS was 1.331.
-- David Andriesen
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