After five days down in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the madness that is the Winter Meetings, I’m back in the comfort of the mid-Atlantic region.
As soon as I had started to finally get comfortable with navigating through my massive hotel and getting to my room, it was time to go home. As soon as I had figured out the quickest way from the lobby at the Swan and Dolphin Resort to the media work room, I had a cab waiting for me to send me off to the airport.
Happens every year.
I’d like to thank everyone for following along with me down in Florida and keeping tabs on all the Nationals’ Winter Meetings rumors and moves here on MASNsports.com. I appreciate all of you reading, tweeting and commenting along with my coverage.
If you’ve got a few minutes to spare sometime today, I shot a few wrap-up videos before bolting Florida. In this one, Mel Altonen and I recap the Nats’ offseason moves and discuss what might be next for general manager Mike Rizzo; in this one, I chat with assistant general manager and vice president of player development Doug Harris about the Rule 5 Draft and where the Nats stand at this point; and in this one, my MASNsports.com colleague Roch Kubatko and I go over what the Nats and Orioles accomplished at the Winter Meetings.
That’s as much Dan Kolko as anyone could possibly want in one day.
As I was in the air yesterday on my way back to BWI Airport, the Nationals made their two-year deal with outfielder Nate McLouth official, signing him to a contract that will pay him $5 million in each of the two years with a $6.5 million team option for 2016. The Nationals hold a $750,000 on that buyout, giving the contract a total guaranteed value of $10.75 million.
McLouth passed his physical, and he’s officially on board.
In order to make room for McLouth on the 40-man roster (which was full after the trade that brought the Nats left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins), the Nationals designated Corey Brown for assignment.
Brown was acquired nearly three years ago on the dot, coming over from the Athletics along with Henry Rodriguez in exchange for Josh Willingham. Brown appeared in just 36 games with the Nats and got just 40 at-bats in that time, hitting .175/.250/.400 with two homers and four RBIs.
He showed his potential at Triple-A Syracuse in 2012, when he hit 25 bombs and posted an impressive .285/.365/.523 slash line, but battled injuries in 2013 that caused his numbers to drop a bit.
Brown didn’t really get much of a chance to compete for a full-time big league roster spot with the Nationals, and with McLouth on board, he wasn’t going to get that chance this upcoming spring. It might sting a bit being designated for assignment, but the 28-year-old might now get a chance to join an organization where he’s got more of a chance to win a job in spring training.
Now that he’s been designated for assignment, Brown is in limbo. The Nationals have 10 days to trade Brown, release him, or, if he clears waivers, assign him to the minor leagues, taking him off the 40-man roster but keeping him within the organization.
Anyone know if the Athletics need a left-handed-hitting outfielder? The Nats and A’s haven’t combined on a trade in nearly 48 hours now.