Report: Guzman clears waivers; next stop Boston?

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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Cristian Guzman has cleared waivers, meaning that no teams were willing to risk being left holding a contract that pays him $8 million next season. However, the Nationals are now free to explore trades for Guzman and there should be a decent market assuming that they’re interested in eating some of his remaining salary.
Guzman doesn’t have much power and has drawn a grand total of 12 walks in 407 plate appearances, so he has one of the emptiest .317 batting averages that you’ll ever see. On the other hand, even an empty .317 is plenty valuable from a shortstop with a decent glove, and Guzman has batted .328, .316, and .317 in the past three seasons for a combined .318/.348/.443 line in 277 games. By comparison, the average MLB shortstop has hit .268/.325/.392, which is about 10 percent worse.
Boston is rumored to be interested in Guzman, which makes plenty of sense given that Red Sox shortstops are third-worst in the AL with a .622 OPS and would-be-starter Jed Lowrie is back on the disabled list with more wrist problems. Nick Green is manning the position for now, but he’s a career .240/.308/.353 hitter and current backup Chris Woodward has a .242/.298/.370 lifetime mark.

The Phillies have shut down Jake Thompson

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 03:  Jake Thompson #75 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at Bright House Field on March 3, 2016 in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Phillies rookie starter Jake Thompson has been shut down for the year. Not that there’s much of the year left, but he will not make what would’ve been his last start.

Thompson allowed three earned runs over four innings in the Phillies’ 17-0 blowout loss to the Mets. That leaves him with a 5.70 ERA in 53.2 innings for the season. Which, while that’s kind of ugly, it was a function of some bad starts mixed in with good starts as opposed to overall badness.

Everything about his 2016 should be viewed as “get yourself used to the big leagues, because you’re going to be part of this rotation in 2017 and beyond,” and from that perspective, you can call 2016 a success.

Congressional candidate uses Jose Fernandez’s death to score political points

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As a horrible Sunday unfolded yesterday there was at least one thing buoying the public mood: the overwhelming outpouring of emotion and love for Jose Fernandez and warm remembrances of his all-too-brief time on Earth.

But it wasn’t a unanimous sentiment. Some people, like this Florida state representative who is currently running for Congress, thought it was a great time to make a political point:

Setting aside the tastelessness of Gaetz’s timing and intent, one wonders if he appreciates that the reason Fernandez risked his life on multiple occasions was specifically so he could live in a country where protesting and not exhibiting a reflexive loyalty and patriotism is a fundamental right and does not get you thrown in jail.

But really, it’s the tastelessness which most galls here.