I'd heard yesterday from a club source that the Nationals had spoken with the representative for free agent pitcher Chris Young, and that they were hopeful of working something out by the end of the week with the ex-Padre. The Mets are also in the picture, and Young has expressed interest in the past in working in the Big Apple, so it may end up being a moot point.
Young's had some shoulder miseries over the past couple of seasons that have curtailed his participation, but at 31, and with a career ERA of 3.80 in 135 starts, he's likely worth the gamble.
I'd been apprehensive when I heard that the club was talking to a free agent right-hander that it might be Jeremy Bonderman, whose resume is a little too scary for me.
Bonderman, a former first round pick of the A's, is only 28, but he already has eight big league seasons under his belt. He was part of that 119-loss season the Tigers suffered through in 2003 when he was just 20. He went 6-19 that year, with an ERA of about 5.56. When Detroit went to the World Series in 2006, he had his best season, going 14-8 with a 4.08 ERA.
Since then, however, Bonderman has been not quite mediocre, going a combined 22-24 with a 5.18 ERA. He's made $38 million over those four seasons. Whew.
Bonderman has little chance of getting much of a guarantee, and, indeed, may end up getting no more than a minor league deal. The rap on Young - by some, anyway - is that he's a flyball pitcher. He's given up 90 home runs over those 135 starts, but that's not unreasonable. At 6-foot-10 the former Princeton Tiger has a physique that many scouts say is ideal for a pitcher, though his fastball is no better than average.
The Nationals aren't sitting still, and the next three weeks should provide more fodder for conversation as spring training approaches.