A few odds and ends

Nothing major to report yet today on the Nats front--though the deadline for submitting arbitration figures is in a half-hour--but here are a few things to keep an eye on today:

--ESPN’s Buster Olney discusses presumptive No. 1 pick Bryce Harper in a blog post over at ESPN.com. You have to be an Insider subscriber to read the whole thing, but Olney quotes a few scouts who are worried Harper’s size might make him too big to be an effective catcher. One evaluator said he doesn’t have “nearly the fluidity” of the Twins’ Joe Mauer, the reigning AL MVP and at 6-foot-5, the standard for big catchers.


--The Nats will have a scout watching Ben Sheets today, but don’t expect them to get serious about signing him unless the money is in their realm.

We’ll know more about that after Sheets performs, but initial indications are that he could be an expensive gamble. The thing with Sheets has always been injuries; if his arm is healthy, he’s capable of being a No. 1 pitcher, and could be a relative bargain this year. We’ll have to wait and see how the market for him plays out.

--Again, according to Olney, the Angels are in the running for free agent starter Joel Piniero. The Mets and Dodgers have been rumored to be interested in Piniero, too, and the presence of those three teams could inflate the market for the right-hander, who is coming off the best season of his career. I still think someone like Jon Garland or Vicente Padilla makes more sense for the Nationals than Piniero, who stands to cash in on his 15-win year in 2009.