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Define "overpay"

It's a refrain heard annually in markets with second division baseball teams: "The (insert team name here) are going to really have to overpay this winter to sign any premier free agents..." Okay, fine. But how does one define the word "overpay?" Let's say that player X is on the market, and it's generally agreed that he's in line for a $10 million annual deal.

Times are tough all over, Derek

I can't help but be somewhat amused by the negotiations taking place between the Yankees and free agent shortstop Derek Jeter. Early indications were that Jeter and his agent were asking the Bombers for a six-year, $150 million deal. More recently we hear that the numbers were "overstated," and sources now indicate that a four- to five-year deal worth $23-24 million annually will get the

How will V-Mart's deal impact Adam Dunn?

Now that the Victor Martinez deal with Detroit is official, you have to wonder how much it will impact whatever contract Adam Dunn ends up with this winter. V-Mart got a four-year, $50 million contract with the Tigers, who plan to use him behind the plate and occasionally at DH, so that young receiver Alex Avila can get some playing time. Do the math: that's

In Dunn's case, should popularity count?

If you peruse some of the on-line comments over the past few weeks, you'll see a number of folks whose prose includes some variation on the theme "if the Nationals don't bring back Adam Dunn, they've lost me as a fan..." Really? Dunn's the reason you follow baseball in Washington? Kind of a stretch, doncha think? Do these comments represent a true cross-section of the

A fit with Tampa?

Nick Cafardo's baseball column in today's Boston Globe suggests that the Nationals are one of a handful of clubs in discussion with the Tampa Bay Rays to acquire shortstop Jason Bartlett. Make no mistake about it: Bartlett is a good player. He just turned 31. He's solid defensively. He's a .281 career hitter. He puts the ball in play; he's never struck out 100 times

Fixer-upper available in Houston

Today's news that Drayton McLane is selling the Houston Astros may bring about a slight feeling of deja vu to some local fans. Roughly 15 years ago McLane actually sold the 'Stros to Northern Virginia businessman Bill Collins, who was going to move them to Washington, and eventually the Old Dominion. Collins made his fortune in the telecommunications industry, and had played minor league baseball

The Willingham Rumor

It's been reported that the Nationals may look to move Josh Willingham in a trade this winter. He's arbitration-eligible again, and the ballclub is apparently not motivated to give him more than a one-year deal. The prospect of trading Josh during an offseason where Adam Dunn walks away as a free agent is an obvious major loss of power. Unless there's something else afoot, it's

Felix dominates, Bud vegetates

Seattle's Felix Hernandez was named the winner of the 2010 AL Cy Young Award today, despite a W-L mark of just 13-12. Sanity prevails. If you're still among those who believe a starting pitcher's calling card is his won-lost record, welcome to the real world. In baseball, but particularly in the American League, a starting pitcher has almost no impact on the number of runs

Braves win Uggla sweepstakes

Well, that didn't take long. The Marlins trade of Dan Uggla to division rival Atlanta happened in what's no more than a blink since it was reported Uggla was on the market. Uggla, no doubt happy to be reunited with manager Fredi Gonzalez, will also be able to stay at second base, his preferred position. The return for Uggla was a lot less than I

Zacking up the rotation

In case you're interested, I was told today by someone privy to the situation that there indeed have been preliminary discussions between the Nationals and the Royals regarding righthander Zack Greinke. Greinke, who won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award, is being shopped by Kansas City. He has 2 years to go on his contract at $13,5 million per year. Paying a true top-of-the-rotation arm

Thinking out loud

This may seem like a wild thought, but after hearing that the Marlins are listening to trade offers for Dan Uggla, it crossed my mind that if he can play second base, he can play first base. True, Uggla at 5'11", isn't your classic lanky first baseman, but he's used to that side of the infield, and certainly has the bat you'd want in your

The Dunn-Pena Debate

I'm sure you've read the kind words Ryan Zimmerman said about Adam Dunn earlier this week. That the two are close friends is no secret, and Ryan undoubtedly would like to see #44 back in one of those new 2011 uniforms. Ryan thinks that perhaps too much attention has been paid to Dunn's defensive shortcomings. He believes Adam is "10 times better" at first now

New duds reflect DC baseball past

The Washington Senators didn't wear a jersey that actually said "Senators" until 1959. For most of the previous 58 seasons in the American League, their shirts had always displayed a block "W," either on the right breast (as you're facing the player), or on the sleeves. Chalk it up to either economics - a single block letter is a pretty cheap applique - or to

Dissatisfaction guaranteed in free agency

There's only one guarantee during the free agent signing period: regardless of who you do or do not sign, you will get hammered by a segment of your fan base. A couple of years ago when the Nationals pursued Mark Teixiera, submitting an offer that was higher than the Yankees' winning bid, a lot of fans insisted, "Oh, that was just for show. They knew

Some out-of-town free agent speculation

The free agent signing season is underway, and while there are no deals to report as of yet, it's interesting to see what speculation is out there. Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday has some predicted outcomes for the top 30 free agents, with a couple of Nats-related items. First of all, he sees right-hander Javier Vasquez signing a two-year, $16 million deal with Washington.

An evening with Yogi

This past Friday night I was given the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion, "Baseball Heroes of World War II," for the American Veteran's Center. The event was held at Nationals Park, and the panel consisted of former Philadlephia A's hurler Lou Brissie, Yankee second baseman and longtime voice of the San Diego Padres Jerry Coleman, Negro Leagues slugger John "Mule" Miles of the Chicago

Remembering Sparky

Today's passing of Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson at age 76 brought to mind a couple of things. First off, did you know that Sparky once wore a Washington uniform? During spring training 1964, Sparky was in spring training in Pompano Beach, FL with the expansion Senators as a "special coach," according to the media guide. He wore uniform #45 that spring. I asked

A solid candidate for Listach's replacement

With the departure of coach Pat Listach to the Cubs, where will the Nationals turn for a new third base coach? Jim Riggleman has been around the game for a long time, as has GM Mike Rizzo. There's a plethora of potential candidates out there, including several former big league managers, and others who were in the mix for some of the managerial openings this

'Damn Yankees' without the Senators? Say it ain't so, Joe

I was doing a little web-surfing and came up with a story from almost two years ago that I'd missed. The February 27, 2009 New York Times reported that writer/director Todd Graff was planning to shoot a remake of "Damn Yankees," the classic Broadway musical - and 1958 motion picture - that would star Jim Carrey as the devil, Applegate, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe

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