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Tag:Mike Rizzo
Posted on: August 30, 2010 7:00 pm

Adios El Duque

Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez has left the Nationals' Double-A Harrisburg team after he was told he wouldn't be in line for a September call-up.

Hernandez, the half-brother of current Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez, was signed to a minor-league contract in July. In six appearances with Harrisburg, Hernandez was 1-1 with a  1.86 ERA.

"His expectation was to be a September call-up," Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told . "And just with the roster spot we're in and the additional guys we're going to put on the roster, it was just something I felt wasn't warranted at this time."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 22, 2010 12:15 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 12:19 pm

Strasburg plays catch on Sunday

Stephen Strasburg Breathe a tad easier Nationals fans (both of you), Stephen Starsburg did his regular workout today and played catch.

Mark Zuckerman of reports (via Twitter ) Strasburg played catch before going back to Washington D.C. for an MRI. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says Strasburg has not been shut down.

Strasburg left Saturday's game against the Phillies in the fifth inning of the team's victory. Strasburg was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm.

The team said it won't make any decisions about his immediate future until the tests results are back. Rizzo also noted Strasburg suffered from the same injury in college, but didn't even leave the game, much less miss a start.

Still, there's little for Strasburg to accomplish this season, so the cautious approach is the best. Strasburg suffered shoulder tightness on June 27 and went not he disabled list.

On Saturday, Strasburg threw just 56 pitches and had allowed a run on two hits, striking out six without a walk.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 7, 2010 12:31 am

Harper enrolled in classes

Bryce Harper Bryce Harper has enrolled in classes at the College of Southern Nevada, improving his leverage in negotiations with the Washington Nationals.

Harper has also met the new coach at the junior college,'s Bill Ladson reports .

Harper, the No. 1 pick in June's draft, has until Aug. 16 to get a deal done or he heads back to the draft-eligible pool for 2011.

Harper left high school early to go to the junior college and be eligible for the 2010 draft. Harper is "advised" by Scott Boras, who has advised several draft picks in the past to go back to school (if they have eligibility) or go to an independent league. Based on Boras' track record, he's not afraid to follow through on waiting another year before cashing in.

Some, including CBS Facts & Rumors blogger David Andriesen, believe calling the bluff may be the best course of action for the Nationals .

Last season, Boras and the Nationals went down to the  final minutes before agreeing to a deal for Stephen Strasburg. In 2008, the Nationals didn't come to terms with Aaron Crow and used their compensatory pick to select Drew Storen.

As for Harper's latest, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo declined to comment to Ladson.

"I'm not going to discuss our negotiations other than to say we are in negotiations with all of our unsigned draft choices," Rizzo said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:33 pm

Report: Dunn claimed on waivers

Adam Dunn The Adam Dunn trade rumors will die soon, because according to Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi , an unidentified team has claimed Dunn on trade waivers.

The news means Dunn is less likely to leave Washington -- at least until the offseason.

Because he's been claimed -- and it's unlikely he cleared waivers in the National League -- the Nationals have until Monday to work out a deal for Dunn. Based on what the Nationals were asking for at the trade deadline, it's unlikely a team will be able to meet that price. And because of what Mike Rizzo has been asking for Dunn, it's a near-certainty the Nationals wouldn't just let him go for the cost of his remaining salary (roughly $4 million).

The Nationals want to keep Dunn -- at least through the end of the season -- so it makes it more likely a National League team is just blocking a trade to a contender. A team like the Rockies or Dodgers -- who are 6 1/2 and 7 games out of first in the NL West, respectively -- could have claimed Dunn to block the Giants or Padres from getting the extra bat, with little chance of having to spent the $4 million left on Dunn's salary.

Since National League teams have first crack at waivers, it's unlikely Dunn was claimed by a National League team. Hell, the Diamondbacks could have claimed him just to see White Sox GM Kenny Williams go crazy on MLB Network's "The Club."

The Nationals will likely hold on to Dunn, gamble that he won't accept arbitration and either re-sign him or get the compensation picks.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 20, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:01 pm

Nationals' Rizzo isn't actively selling

The Washington Nationals are 40-53 and in their usual spot at the bottom of the National League East standings and by all accounts should be selling off pieces at the trade deadline. However, according to's Mark Zuckerman , the store is not only not open, the lights are off.

"He's not the one initiating any of the talks," Zimmerman quotes a source "familiar with [Mike] Rizzo's thinking."

The Nationals' biggest trade piece is slugger Adam Dunn, who is a free agent after this season. There have been on-again, off-again reports about a contract extension for Dunn, who is tied for second in the National League in homers (22) and third in OPS (.950). According to Zuckerman, Dunn is searching for a contract longer than three years at more than $15 million a year. The Nationals don't want to give Dunn a contract that long and risk him having 10-5 rights and the ability to kill any trade at the end of his contract.

If the Nationals don't offer Dunn such a contract, he'll test his worth on the free agent market. Dunn has drawn interest from the White Sox and Angels, among other teams.

With a very thin reliever market, the Nationals also have a relatively attractive trade piece in closer Matt Capps. Capps is arbitration-eligible after the season and the team has Drew Storen, their closer of the future, already in the big leagues and pitching well as a setup man.

The team's other trade candidate is outfielder Josh Willingham, who is hitting .277/.404/.490. He's on a one-year contract worth $4.6 million, but like Capps is arbitration eligible and under team control through next season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 20, 2010 10:11 am
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:03 pm

White Sox offering pick of the farm for Dunn

Adam Dunn White Sox general manager Kenny Williams is "desperately" trying to land the Nationals' Adam Dunn, the Chicago Sun-Times ' Joe Cowley writes .

Cowley cites a major-league source as saying Williams has spent the last few days trying to get the Nationals' slugger, offering up "anyone and anything he has in the minor leagues in a package."

However, Cowley writes the Nationals' Mike Rizzo is "still fixated" on getting Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin in return.

With Daniel Hudson and Dayan Viciedo on the table, the White Sox are just waiting to hear back from Rizzo.

Still, Williams is playing it close to the vest

"If I'm being honest and completely transparent right now of the price that is being asked for some of the players that we've inquired about, for us, it's more detrimental to our present and our future than we'd like," Williams said.

If anyone is going to overpay for a player like Dunn, it'll be Williams, who is prone to bold gambles. That said, Dunn in U.S. Cellular Field would be a dream for the White Sox.

Dunn, however, is a free agent after the season and made it known he doesn't want to be a full-time designated hitter, while any manager with that option on the table would be fired for negligence if they put him in the field when there's the option to keep his bat in the lineup and glove out of it. If, after the season, a National League team made a play for his services, he'd bolt.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 16, 2010 10:41 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:34 am

Zimmerman doesn't want Nats broken up

Ryan Zimmerman The Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman knows the team isn't headed to the postseason in 2010, but he's hopeful the team doesn't look too far into the future and keep some of the pieces the team does have right now -- especially Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham.

Zimmerman is under contract through 2013, so it's understandable he'd like the others to stay. However, Dunn and Willingham are free agents after the season, so even not trading them will guarantee they stay in DC.

"We're so close," Zimmerman told the Washington Post 's Adam Kilgore . "I mean, they know. Mike [Rizzo] and Stan [Katsen] are smart. They're one of the biggest reasons we're so much better this year. They drafted well. They traded well. They know what we need to do to win. I don't think either of them want to get rid of either of those guys. They understand what we have, and they're proud of the team we have."

The Nationals are 39-50 and hoping to avoid 100 losses for the third season in a row.

Both Willingham and Dunn have expressed a desire to stay with the Nationals, but Dunn may be wavering because of the Nationals' lack of communication on an extension.

Dunn is also the team's best trading piece, but there's no immediate replacement for Dunn's power production in the system.

The team's other trading piece is closer Matt Capps, signed to a one-year deal. Capps has 23 saves and in a market short on relievers, he could bring in more than his future worth, especially with Drew Storen ready to take over the closer's role and Tyler Clippard with cloer's stuff, as well.

Zimmerman, though, said he'd like to keep the team together and pal the rest of the season at full strength in order to stay below 100 losses and maybe entice free agents to come to Washington.

"I think this year is the first year where we can kind of see over the hump," Zimmerman said. "Next year -- I hate talking about next year already -- but next year we have a possibility to do a lot of damage."

The Nationals are clearly a team on the rise, but Dunn is 30 and may be looking to play for a winning team for once, in his 10 seasons, the only winning team he's played for is the 2008 Diamondbacks, a team that finished 82-80. Dunn joined the team in a trade after the deadline and failed to make the playoffs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 24, 2010 11:16 am

Nats owner says Harper negotations have begun

Bryce Harper The Nationals drafted Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 overall pick in 2009 and handed him a record-breaking $15.1 million deal.

Now, Washington has Bryce Harper in the fold after making him the first overall choice in 2010. Harper reportedly wants his own record-breaking deal, which is a lot of money for Washington to commit to a 17-year old outfielder. Strasburg was in a completely different boat, but Nats owner Mark Lerner isn't concerned about negotiations with Harper and agent Scott Boras.

"I'm confident we'll get a deal worked out," Lerner told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post . "I think the kid wants to play."

Lerner revealed that Boras and GM Mike Rizzo have had conversations, but it will take until closer to the Aug. 16 signing deadline for things to truly ramp up. Lerner believes that the strong working relationship between Boras and Rizzo will help get a deal done. The two worked together on Strasburg's deal.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or