Lost in all the Adam LaRoche/Michael Morse stuff the other day, I forgot to mention that it looks like the Nationals will have a new speedy outfielder wearing jersey No. 2 this season.
Denard Span tweeted that he will be wearing No. 2 with the Nationals, which was his number while playing with the Twins.
The previous owner of that jersey number, Roger Bernadina, apparently has agreed to part ways with it. Span tweeted that Bernadina was “very gracious” in giving up the number.
So there you go. Don’t ever say I don’t have you covered on all aspects of this team.
Although their rotation is set for this season, the Nats continue to look for starting pitching depth. That search reportedly led general manager Mike Rizzo to Puerto Rico last night in order to watch former major league starter Javier Vasquez.
Rizzo was quoted by the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo DÃa as saying that Vasquez “looked great, in very good shape.”
Vasquez last pitched in the majors in 2011, going 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA in 192 2/3 innings with the Marlins. He retired before the 2012 season, but is now attempting a comeback.
Now 36, Vasquez could be a hotly sought-after target for teams looking to upgrade their rotation late in the offseason. There are reportedly as many as 15 teams in on Vasquez, and the Nats wouldn’t be able to give him more than a minor league contract, but he’s a name to watch.
The Nats didn’t land a big-name free agent left-handed reliever, but they keep adding lefties to minor league deals who can compete for a job in camp. FOXSports.com reports that the Nats signed left-hander Brandon Mann to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training.
Mann, 28, pitched in Japan the last two years, posting a 4.27 ERA in 92 2/3 innings.
Finally, there are reports that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have agreed to expanded drug testing, which will include unannounced, in-season HGH testing.
MLB would be the first major sport in the United States to agree to in-season HGH testing. The league had previously only tested players for HGH in spring training.
The 30-year-old Ohlendorf is a six-year veteran who went 4-4 wit a 7.77 ERA in 13 games, nine of them starts, for the Padres last season. He’s 18-32 in his career for the Yankees, Pirates and Padres, and went 11-10 with a 3.92 ERA in 29 starts for Pittsburgh in 2009.
West is a 26-year-old coming off a 2012 in which he was shelved with a hamstring injury. He last appeared in the majors in 2010, pitching for Marlins. A former first-round pick, 44th overall, in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, West was 8-8 with a 5.03 ERA in 22 starts for the Marlins in 2009-10.