It’s been a while since the Nationals held an offseason press conference on South Capitol Street. The last one came more than a year ago, when Davey Martinez was introduced as the club’s seventh manager in 14 seasons. None of last year’s player acquisitions warranted a full-scale press conference at the ballpark.
So today represents a significant moment for the Nats, who have announced a 12:30 p.m. press conference at Nationals Park for what at this point the club is only saying is “a major baseball announcement.”
If you’ve been following the news this week, you already know what that announcement will be. I don’t expect any out-of-the-blue surprises here.
You can watch said press conference live on MASN, and if you can’t get to a TV we’ll also be live-streaming it on our Facebook page, so be sure to tune in.
As always, it’ll be interesting to see what Mike Rizzo has to say. We just heard from the general manager last weekend at Winterfest, at which point he confirmed the club’s face-to-face meeting with Patrick Corbin and interest in signing the left-hander. Given the hefty cost required to acquire Corbin, ownership played a big role in those talks as well, so it’ll be interesting to see if Mark Lerner speaks today.
The Nationals previously have signed four players to nine-figure contracts. It began with the biggest shocker of them all: Jayson Werth agreeing to a seven-year, $126 million deal on the eve of the 2011 Winter Meetings. Next up was Ryan Zimmerman, who signed a six-year, $100 million extension during spring training 2012.
Max Scherzer’s seven-year, $210 million contract (signed in January 2015) sent shock waves throughout the baseball world. The following season - May 2016, to be precise - Stephen Strasburg agreed to a seven-year, $175 million extension, choosing to stay in D.C. only months before he was due to become a free agent.
That’s a lot of mega-contract announcements for one franchise in only seven years. And it appears there’s one more to be announced this afternoon.