Tag:NL East
Posted on: February 25, 2012 2:39 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 4:21 pm
 

Nats, Zimmerman extend extension talks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The beauty of a self-imposed deadline is that it's pretty easy to ignore it if you want to do so.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said his representatives and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo continued their contract extension past the 10 a.m. deadline Zimmerman had set, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Zimmerman said the two sides had "a couple of little hurdles" remaining, and the main sticking point is still Zimmerman's request for a no-trade clause. "Something creative to ensure me I'll be here," Zimmerman said.

The sides have agreed on money, which CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reported is roughly $18 million per year, but Zimmerman said he only wanted to take the deal if it was guaranteed he'd be staying in Washington. Heyman said Zimmerman's side offered a "creative" solution to the impasse. Zimmerman, 27, is signed through 2013.

The new deadline, is the end of the day, Zimmerman said -- unless it's not.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:14 pm
 

Nats, Zimmerman divided on no-trade clause

Ryan Zimmerman

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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 23, 2012 2:19 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 4:07 pm
 

Oswalt pulls a Clemens, prepares for half-season



By Matt Snyder


Free agent starting pitcher Roy Oswalt has told major-league teams that he's aiming to join a club at some point during the season.

"After much thought and careful consideration, Roy has decided to continue to evaluate his options," said Oswalt's agent, Bob Garber in a statement. "He is great health and will continue to stay in shape, while throwing regularly off the mound. Roy has every intention of pitching for a contending club at some point this season.''

Spring Training Coverage
You might recall Roger Clemens did the midseason thing twice last decade. In May of 2006, he signed with the Astros and went 7-6 with a 2.30 ERA that season. In May of 2007, Clemens signed with the Yankees, going 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA. He made a postseason start, too, but was chased after just 2 1/3 innings.

Oswalt, 34, wasn't lacking for attention this offseason, as he turned down a one-year, $10 million from the Tigers and also declined to discuss terms with the Red Sox. Oswalt is said to want to be as close as possible to his home in Mississippi, specifically targeting the Cardinals and Rangers -- neither of whom were interested or met Oswalt's asking price. As CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler noted on Twitter, Garber didn't specify which "contending club" Oswalt wished to join, and it's believed he still only wants to pitch for the Rangers or Cardinals. So he's basically waiting on an injury or underperformance to open up a rotation spot on either team.

He was once one of the more durable pitchers in baseball. From 2002-2010, he only failed to make 30 starts one season while throwing at least 208 innings in seven of those nine campaigns. Last season, however, Oswalt was hampered by a back injury and made just 23 starts. He was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 139 innings. In his one postseason start, he took the loss, allowing six hits and five runs in six innings against the Cardinals.

Oswalt is 159-93 with a 3.21 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 1,759 strikeouts in his career. He's a three-time All-Star and finished in the top six of Cy Young voting six times, but never better than third. He's pitched in the playoffs four different seasons, two with the Astros and two with the Phillies, once making the World Series (2005 Astros) but never winning it.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:56 am
 

Miami Marlins being inexplicably sued

By Matt Snyder

Hey everybody, it's frivolous lawsuit time!

Apparently, back in February of 2008, there was some sort of awards banquet with an auction in Miami. Marlins president David Samson -- who doesn't own the team, mind you -- said the first item up for bid was the Marlins and he'd sell them for $10 million, seemingly as a joke. And a man said he'd bid the $10 million, which was surely seen by everyone in attendance as furthering the joke.

Instead, Omeranz and Landsma Corporation in Florida is now suing the Marlins, believing it bought the Marlins for $10 million and that the Marlins have breached contract. Seriously, here's the court filing PDF, via Sportinlaw.com.

Too many things annoy me about this. First of all, I understand it takes time to file lawsuits, but it's quite the coincidence that the lawsuit is filed now that the Marlins have their new home, a shiny new payroll -- with new free agents Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle -- a high-profile manager (Ozzie Guillen) and some solid young up-and-comers (Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison, etc.). Why wasn't this filed in 2010? It took more than two years to put together this case, when a nine-figure profit hangs in the balance (if the plaintiffs win the Marlins)?

It seems rather obvious the main intent is to get the Marlins to pay a lump sum settlement to make this go away as quickly as possible. Here's hoping Jeffrey Loria (the Marlins actual owner) refuses to do so and the court just throws this thing out. Not to get all preachy, but we don't need to start suing companies over jokes, especially when the person making the joke doesn't have the right to sell.

Hat-tip: Sun-Sentinel.com

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:52 am
 

Carter honored, service to be streamed live

By Matt Snyder

It's been nearly a week since Hall of Famer Gary Carter died at just 57 years old, but he hasn't left the consciousness from his many fans and admirers.

Gary Carter's death
Earlier this week, Montreal city council unanimously approved a motion that called for the city to find something to name after Carter. As things currently stand, it will be "a street or place to name in his honour." (MontrealGazette.com)

“Gary Carter was so associated with the Montreal Expos; his death was like the Expos were leaving for a second time,” Projet Montréal leader Richard Bergeron said (MontrealGazette.com).

The council majority leader, Marvin Rotrand, told MontrealGazette.com that finding the proper place to name after Carter will be done in consultation with the Carter family.

There will be a memorial service for family and friends of "The Kid" Friday at 7 p.m. in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. For those interested, it will be streamed live by Christ Fellowship Church on their website.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:28 pm
 

Mets create practice field to mirror Citi Field

By Matt Snyder

In an effort to make the park a little less extreme -- in favor of the pitchers -- the Mets have moved in and lowered the fences in the Citi Field outfield for this upcoming season. The changes are below, with the orange line being the old wall and the blue line being the new one (also note that the left field wall was 16 feet tall and it's now only eight feet tall, among several other alterations).

And just to make things a bit more familiar for the next six weeks, the Mets have a chain-link replica of Citi Field in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for spring training.



The replica field isn't one they'll use for spring games, as it's merely a practice field (Field 7). Still, they can get in some work on the field and become more comfortable with the new dimensions. Three players -- David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda -- took batting practice on Field 7 Wednesday and there's already an excitement. Here are some quotes on the first day:

• "Today shows you that there's a big difference," Mets manager Terry Collins said (MLB.com). "It's going to change the way these guys think when they're at home plate."

• "I saw David [Wright] hit like four or five balls that last year wouldn't have been over the fence and now they're homers," Duda said (MLB.com). "I saw Murph hit one out the other day. It's the first day and the wind was blowing out a little bit, so you've got to factor it in. But it was a good day."

• “You could tell. And if you couldn’t tell, [Mets COO] Jeff [Wilpon] was there to remind you,” Wright said (ESPN New York).

• “The wind was blowing out to left pretty good, so that felt pretty good," said Murphy (ESPN New York). "I saw David hit some balls out. I think he hit one out to right-center. I think Jeff came up and said something to him. He was like, ‘See, I told you we brought them in.’ And then Duda hit a couple out to left. And there was one ball, the last swing I took, to 358 in left-center that ran out of real estate that I was like, ‘All right, I kind of like that a little bit.’”

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 2:38 pm
 

Report: Edgar Renteria leaning toward retirement

Edgar Renteria

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Former World Series MVP Edgar Renteria is leaning toward retirement, although his agent, Barry Meister told FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that the 35-year-old shortstop probably won't file official retirement papers anytime soon, leaving the door open for a return.

Renteria played for the Reds last season, but Cincinnati instead chose to go with rookie Zach Cozart as its starter at shortstop, along with backup Paul Janish. Renteria received two offers of minor-league contracts from National League teams, but he chose not go that route.

"It had nothing to do with the team," Meister told Rosenthal. "It just had to do with the feeling that this might be the right time."

Renteria won two Gold Gloves and was a five-time All-Star, as well as two World Series titles and another appearance. Although, the highlight of his career came early, when at 20 he hit the game-winning RBI single in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series with the Marlins. He then won the World Series MVP with the Giants in 2010. He also appeared in the 2004 World Series with the Cardinals.

In an interesting twist, he could be hanging up his glove in the same offseason season that countryman and fellow Gold Glove shortstop Orlando Cabrera retired. Cabrera, 37, played for the Giants and Indians last season -- and coincidentally, was the shortstop for the Reds in 2010. He was also the shortstop for the Red Sox when Boston beat Renteria's Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

What makes it really interesting is that the two, who are probably the greatest players to ever hail from Columbia, had a rivalry and didn't like each other. Here's a story from 2008 written by Jorge Arangure in ESPN The Magazine that examines and explains the feud. It's a fascinating read, but the crux is this -- Renteria felt Cabrera was jealous of him and then there's a money aspect to the entire deal.

In Cincinnati, I've dealt with both and found it odd. Teammates liked -- and even loved -- both players, they were well-respected and were also good with the media. Renteria, whom I was around less, seemed more quiet, while Cabrera is outgoing, loud and hilarious.

Renteria and his brother founded the Columbian Professional Baseball League and he is seen as a hero in Columbia, while last season Cabrera became a U.S. citizen.

If Renteria retires, he'll end his career with a .286/.343/.398 slash line, 140 home runs and 2,327 hits to go along with five All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. He also played on seven playoff teams with four different franchises. Cabrera finished his career with a .272/.317/.390 slash line, 123 home runs and 2,055 hits. He never made an All-Star team, but did win two Gold Gloves and played on six playoff teams. From 2004-2010, he appeared in the playoffs in all but one of those seven seasons, making six playoff appearances with five different teams.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 21, 2012 3:11 pm
 

Marlins' Ramirez says he's fine with move to 3B

Hanley Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


All the angst about Hanley Ramirez moving to third base? Apparently that's over.

"I never said I'm not going to do it," Ramirez told reporters at Marlins camp, including Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. "I'm just happy to be here, be back in the spring with my guys, my teammates, everybody's happy. That's what we need. We got to stay together through the year. We're looking good. This is the best team I have been on in six years with the Marlins."

Ramirez took grounders at third base on Tuesday and said he should have no problems making the switch, necessitated by the Marlins' signing of shortstop Jose Reyes.

"Nothing at all," Ramirez said when asked what the biggest challenge would be. "Just catch the ball and throw the ball."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

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