Nats trying hard to get another veteran starter

The Nationals are trying hard to find that extra veteran starter. In fact, they made contract offers to right-handers Chan Ho Park and Braden Looper, but both players turned them down, according to a baseball source.

The Nationals did not confirm that they made offers to Park and Looper.

Park ended up agreeing to a one year, $1.2 million contract with the Yankees. The source said Washington made a similar offer to Park. Looper, on the other hand, told the Nationals on Sunday night he was going in another direction. It’s not known who he will sign with.   

The free-agent pool for pitchers is thin. Right-handers John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez are still available, but the Nationals haven’t heard from those players or their representatives for quite some time.

As of now, Jason Marquis is the only veteran starter in the rotation. Pitchers such as Shawn Estes and Miguel Batista are in camp, but they are on Minor League contract at the moment.

* The Nationals have decided that right-hander Garrett Mock will start against the Astros and right-hander J.D. Martin will get the nod against the Marlins on March 4, which is when the exhibition season starts for Washington. Mock and Martin are battling for the final two spots in the rotation.

Left-hander Scott Olsen had a bullpen session, which lasted about eight minutes and he indicated to pitching coach Steve McCatty that he was 80 percent from where he wants to be.

Olsen missed the entire second half of last season because of shoulder surgery.

“I thought he threw the ball pretty well,” McCatty said. “I told him if he felt stiff or anything to let us know. He said,  ‘No, I felt fine.’ He is a big piece. If he feels good and throws what he is capable of, that going to be a big plus.”

It will be interesting to see where infielder Alberto Gonzalez ends up by Opening Day. He most likely will compete with Ian Desmond for a utility spot this spring. The 2009 season was up and down for the right-handed hitting Gonzalez.

After hitting .333 in the first half, Gonzalez slumped badly and went 40-for 180 (.222) with an on-base percentage of .245 after the All-Star break. At times, he looked lost on defense, but manager Jim Riggleman didn’t have any problems with Gonzalez’s glove.  
 
“As a manager, when you look at Alberto Gonzalez, you are thinking defense,” Riggleman said. “Any falling off offensively, I really didn’t have too much feeling about that. I just know that I felt comfortable when I put him out there. I want the ball to be hit his way.

“He got almost 300 at-bats. When you get 300 at-bats, the pitchers kind of figure out how to pitch to you. Now it’s time for him to make the adjustment.” 

8 Comments

Is Washburn still available? Didn’t see his name dropped in the article, and he’s not terrible. He may be holding out for a team with higher potential, and maybe for a west coast team, but he might give you a nice fit, maybe for a year, until Strasburg is ready for prime time. I’d hate to rush the kid.

Is Washburn still available? Didn’t see his name dropped in the article, and he’s not terrible. He may be holding out for a team with higher potential, and maybe for a west coast team, but he might give you a nice fit, maybe for a year, until Strasburg is ready for prime time. I’d hate to rush the kid.

Is Washburn still available? Didn’t see his name dropped in the article, and he’s not terrible. He may be holding out for a team with higher potential, and maybe for a west coast team, but he might give you a nice fit, maybe for a year, until Strasburg is ready for prime time. I’d hate to rush the kid.

Try to sign Brett Tomko. He is not expensive but is also not a bad pitcher. Good luck!!

Washburn is still available, technically, but he seems to be holding out for his price, which might not happen until May, now.

From MLB TR:

“Washburn Waiting For Right Offer
By Tim Dierkes [February 10, 2010 at 3:13pm CST]

Free agent lefty Jarrod Washburn spoke to MLB.com’s Jim Street, telling Street he’s waiting for the right offer. Washburn quipped, “I never liked Spring Training anyway.”

Washburn told Street that he rejected some offers (reportedly $5MM from the Twins among them) because he wasn’t ready to make a decision at the time. Washburn says “it’s not about money.” He’d love to return to the Mariners, but has not received an offer. The southpaw would be happy to keep playing, but happy to retire as well.

Washburn’s 2009 season was tricky – he wasn’t as good as the 2.64 ERA he posted over the first four months, but a knee injury contributed to his 7.33 ERA over the last two. Instead try CHONE’s projection for 2010: a 4.63 ERA in 167 innings.

I am not as worried as others about getting another veteran SP. If we can improve by signing a veteran guy, I’m all for it, but I have a strong feeling that Batista will find his way into the rotation. Estes’ name was mentioned in the article, but I see him as a Triple-A guy unless the injury bug hits this team hard.

Here ya go:
Smoltz & Pedro, $ 2 million base per player for a full season – $ 4 million if we make the playoffs – $ 5 million if we win the division – then jack it up tp $ 10 million if they lead us into the series. They don’t need the money, they need the challange of another pennant – they have the knowledge, experience and I know they another gallon in the tank (WHAT A FIELD OF DREAMS)

Pedro Martinez or John Smoltz would be nice insurance

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