Results tagged ‘ Nationals ’

One last untuck: Soriano now an ex-Yankee

Rafael SorianoRafael Soriano is now an ex-Yankee. The right-handed reliever has landed a two-year, $28 million deal with the Washington Nationals, pending the completion of a physical, MLB.com has confirmed.

The deal also includes a $15 million option for the 2015 season that will vest if Soriano finishes 120 games over the next two seasons. It turns out that Scott Boras, a master of January deals in years past, probably knew what he was doing all along with Soriano.

It was generally accepted that Soriano and the Yankees would be parting ways after he opted out of his contract in November, forfeiting the final year of his deal and accepting a $1.5 million buyout instead of the $14 million salary he would have been due.

The Yankees made Soriano a qualifying offer of one year and $13.3 million, which he also rejected, so New York will pick up Draft compensation for Washington’s signing. There were reports that the Yankees didn’t even consider bringing Soriano back on a one-year basis, since they’d much prefer having that pick.

Soriano and the Yankees won’t have to wait too long to renew acquaintances; they’ll meet in D.C. on March 29 for an exhibition game at Nationals Park.

Yankees have interest in Washington’s Michael Morse

Michael MorseThe Yankees have been searching for a right-handed hitting outfielder with power, and the Nationals suddenly may be looking to move one. Michael Morse makes sense for the Yankees on a number of levels, and thus it’s no surprise to see that the two are being linked in trade discussions.

Five to six teams – one of which was the Yankees – have contacted the Nationals regarding Morse, according to Ken Rosenthal, following yesterday’s signing of Adam LaRoche to a two-year deal by Washington.

Morse is due $6.75 million this season and is a free agent for 2014, so he fits under the Yankees’ financial constraints. The Nationals are in the market for a left-handed reliever, suggesting that Boone Logan could be included in a potential package, but they’ll need to come to the table with more.

MLB.com’s Bill Ladson believes, “If the Nationals attempt to trade Morse, they would want top prospects in return. It’s doubtful they would settle for veteran left-handed relievers in a trade.”

Unfortunately, as John Harper notes in the New York Daily News, “[the Yankees'] farm system is utterly barren of big trade chips, a problem that has persisted for several years, particularly after Jesus Montero was dealt.”

Ladson adds that the Nationals see the pitching-rich Rays as “great trade partners” for Morse, and quotes Washington GM Mike Rizzo as saying that the Nationals don’t have to jump at the first offers that come their way.

“We are going to put the best 25 men on the field for Opening Day,” Morse said. “We are going to be patient. If there is a deal out there that makes great sense for us, and makes great sense for Michael Morse, we’ll certainly consider it. But there is no gun to our head that we have to trade Michael Morse. We won’t trade him just to trade him. It will be a good trade in our favor, or we will just keep him.”

Right now, the Yankees’ in-house answers for a right-handed bat figure to be Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler. If you’re wondering what Morse thinks about all this, it seems like we’ll have to wait.

Cliff Lee will take his time

110110CliffLee.jpg

The drop-off between Cliff Lee and the rest of the free agent starting pitching market is sizable, and that allows the left-hander a certain amount of comfort as his representatives approach the task of securing a large contract this winter.
Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, told The Associated Press on Monday that his camp is only “gathering information” at this point, and that no deal is expected to be reached quickly.
“This one certainly is a little bit unique in that he’s clearly the best player on the free-agent market and not a lot of other things are going to impact our position on Cliff,” Braunecker said.
Braunecker may not even attend next week’s General Manager’s meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., not needing to drum up interest in Lee. There is also no need to take Lee on a tour of the cities where he could pitch next year. 
The Yankees and Rangers are thought to be among his most interested suitors, while the Phillies, Brewers, Cubs, Nationals and Angels could also jump in. Lee’s eventual contract may be a five or six year deal, worth upwards of the $23 million per season the Yankees are paying CC Sabathia. 
“We’re going to take it on of kind of a team-by-team, case-by-case basis. I don’t expect Cliff to be flying all over the country,” Braunecker said. “We’re really in just the infancy stages of it all. We don’t really ever handicap the timing of any of this stuff. We believe that when the right deal presents itself, we’ll be prepared to act. And when that might be, that’s anybody’s guess at this point.”

Mr. Cashman, you have calls on lines 1, 2, 3…

For some reason, I just pictured Brian Doyle Murray in Groundhog Day, trying to unload Bill Murray at the bachelor auction: “What am I bid for this fine spec-i-mine?”

That aside, the Yankees are still taking calls on Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher, as the The New York Times reports today. But don’t keep hitting refresh looking for the trade to go down. There’s little reason to believe anything will change in the very near future.

Drawing out the lineup on paper here on January 17, the pieces don’t fit, and one of those players could be extraneous. But unless a club – the Reds, Giants, Braves and Nationals have been reported to have interest – comes calling with something that the Yankees absolutely must jump at, there isn’t really an urgent need to deal either Nady or Swisher.

They could just as easily bring both players down to Tampa for Spring Training, when inevitably some team will suffer a crippling outfield injury and all of a sudden need to make a quick move to field a decent lineup for Opening Day.

Of course, then there’s the other scenario that the Yankees wouldn’t want to see happen — it could be the Yankees themselves who suffer an injury, which would open up a way that both Nady and Swisher would be in the Opening Day lineup.

Either way, time is on Brian Cashman’s side with this one. Though it seems they’d prefer to deal Nady over Swisher, it behooves Cashman to make the best possible deal he can regardless of who gets dealt, and not rush into a hair-trigger transaction.

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