In case you missed it late last night, the Nationals agreed to terms with Ross Detwiler on a contract for the 2014 season, one that will pay the left-hander $3 million with a chance to earn $50,000 more if he throws 180 innings.
That leaves seven arbitration-eligible Nats players without contracts at this point: Jerry Blevins, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, Wilson Ramos, Drew Storen and Jordan Zimmermann.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, expect a number of deals to come in a hurry leading up to today’s 1 p.m. deadline before teams and their arbitration-eligible players need to exchange formal salary figures. If a deal is not reached before the arbitration hearings, which begin in February, then an arbiter will need to step in and determine the player’s salary for 2014.
Something else that’s worth noting, especially when it comes to Desmond and Zimmermann: Teams can agree to terms with an arbitration-eligible player on a one-year contract in order to avoid arbitration, and then work out an extension at a later time.
It’s not like once the player has agreed to terms for this upcoming year that extension talks are automatically taken off the table, so if you see in the coming hours, days or weeks that Desmond and/or Zimmermann have finalized one-year contracts, don’t take that to mean that a long-term deal is no longer possible. Teams will sometimes take care of the first year just to stop the arbitration cloud from hanging over their heads, and then will get down to working out an extension at a later date.
I was interested to see that the reaction to yesterday’s news that Major League Baseball will have expanded instant replay this season seemed to be fairly split among fan comments that I saw on Twitter and on the blog.
The main concern among fans seems to be the time that it will take to complete the video reviews, and how that might lengthen games even more. Certainly a valid thought, although the fact that the on-field umpires won’t be making the decision on the review should help to keep the process moving along fairly quickly.
The umpires won’t leave the field during the review process, and instead will just have access to headsets somewhere near home plate, which will allow them to communicate with the replay officials back at MLB Advanced Media headquarters in New York.
This system will be very similar to the one the NHL uses, where the video reviews are all handled out of one office. It’s seemed to be a pretty smooth system as far as hockey reviews go, and while baseball has a wider variety of types of reviews to worry about now (instead of just goal or no-goal in the NHL), I’m hopeful that they can quickly get all the necessary instant replays shown in that MLB replay command center, allowing the replay officials to make the correct calls in a timely manner.
Nobody wants a situation where three reviews per game end up tacking on another half-hour to each contest, especially in the American League, where a Red Sox/Yankees game already seems like it takes five hours as it is.
Who will you be rooting for this weekend in the NFL conference championship games? We know who Ryan Zimmerman will be rooting for.
The Nationals third basemen went on 106.7 the Fan yesterday, and within his lengthy interview with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, he revealed that he has a “huge man crush” on Tom Brady.
Who doesn’t, really?
Zimmerman clarified that he doesn’t necessarily consider himself a Patriots fan or a Boston sports fan in general, but that he just likes the way Brady and his head coach, Bill Belichick, go about their business.
“Brady and Belichick step on people’s necks,” Zimmerman said. “I love it. ... I just feel like Tom and the Patriots finish games. ... I think I’m gonna go with New England.”
Yes, we’re to that point in the offseason where a Nationals player talking about his man crush has made the blog. How many days now until pitchers and catchers report? Twenty-seven? OK.