On Tuesday night, shortly after Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton expressed his frustration with the monster trade which shipped five of his teammates to the Blue Jays, Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper sent a tweet Stanton’s way.
The message, which has since been deleted, read: “you can always come play for the Nats! We will take you anytime! Get some red, white, and blue in your life!”
Last night, Stanton replied to Harper via Twitter with the following: “Dang bro, If only my last name backwards wasn’t NotNats!”
Yeah, that’s actually Stanton’s name backwards. Consider my mind blown.
Nationals fans might have been disappointed to hear last night that Gio Gonzalez had fallen short of the NL Cy Young Award. Those same fans might have been slightly annoyed to hear that the award had gone to R.A. Dickey, 38-year-old starter for the division rival Mets.
But while I really enjoy Gonzalez as a person and think he had a fantastic season, I, for one, find it truly neat to see Dickey win the Cy Young.
This is a guy who found out just after signing his first pro contract that he lacks the UCL in his throwing elbow, and then saw his signing bonus cut from more than $800,000 to $75,000 as a result. This is a guy who failed to make it as a conventional pitcher, so he converted to a knuckleballer. This is a guy who was a Rule 5 pick in the winter of 2007, and then was returned to his original team just three months later after failing to earn a roster spot.
This is a guy who has spent parts of 14 seasons in the minor leagues, a guy who posted a 5.21 ERA in 2008, a guy considered playing in Korea a few years ago, a guy who was the first player cut by the Mets in spring training in 2010.
This season, Dickey won 20 games on a terrible team, threw back-to-back one-hitters and at one point pitched 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Dickey was tremendous, and his story is even better. Good for him.
Meanwhile, the Nationals have yet to make any big news on the free agent front, but they have bolstered their infield depth by signing 29-year-old infielder Will Rhymes to a minor league deal, according to Rhymes’ agency, the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Rhymes’ deal comes with an invitation to big league spring training.
The former Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers infielder played 130 games in the majors over the last three seasons. He put up a .228/.299/.285 line in 137 plate appearances with the Rays in 2012, hitting one home run and driving in eight runs.
Rhymes has played some outfield in the minors, but is a second baseman by trade, a guy who can also fill in at third base or shortstop in a pinch.
His signing was first reported by Nationals.com.