The Nationals name their managerial prospects. At least we think they do.

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Fresh off of snagging some top-notch front office talent, the Nats are setting their sights on their next manager.  From the excellent Federal Baseball Nats blog:

Former DC GM Jim Bowden sent out a tweet yesterday listing the candidates for the Nationals’ job opening on the bench which read simply, “Nats MGR search includes: Mattingly,Duncan,Yost,Riggleman & BValen,” and now this afternoon, Bowden’s back with an updated list which includes a few new names:

“Up-Dated Nationals Managerial Candidates: Mattingly, Valentine, Mills, Melvin, Cora, Yost, Bowa.”

Some interesting names there to be sure. Mattingly is a guy a lot of people would like to see get a shot to manage.  Valentine is fun, of course.  Joey Cora may be fun too, at least if his years under Ozzie Guillen have rubbed off (I love Ozzie Guillen, at least as long as he’s not managing my team).  Melvin and Bowa seem like retreads I wouldn’t want on a young team.  Yost is also a retread, but maybe a good one given that he has experience shepherding a team with prospects to the next level.  I know nothing about Mills aside from the fact that he’s the Red Sox’ bench coach. Perhaps Boston fans can enlighten us as to his qualifications in the comments.

Of course, I do have one question: If this really came from a Jim Bowden tweet, how in the hell is he privy to this kind of information? He was disgraced and subsequently fired last spring, and my sense is that the Nats went on a much-needed de-Bowedenification campaign in the front office after he was shown the door. Does Bowden have a mole deep within Nats’ HQ, or is he just speculating like the rest of us?

If the later, I have to tell you Jim:  I’ve been let go by employers before. The quickest way to recover is to quit thinking about what they’re doing now that you’re gone and look towards the future.

(link via BTF)

Orioles re-sign Paul Janish to minor league deal

SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Paul Janish #15 of the Baltimore Orioles poses during photo day at Ed Smith Stadium on February 28, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Orioles signed free agent shortstop Paul Janish to another minor league deal on Saturday, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The contract includes an invite to spring training.

It’s hardly a surprising move for the Orioles, who have released and re-signed the 34-year-old infielder to multiple minor league deals over the past two years. A perennial Triple-A player, Janish slashed .242/.282/.303 with four doubles and a .585 OPS in two campaigns and 28 games with the Orioles. While he won’t be in line for a full-time role in the majors this season, he profiles as a solid defender and should give the team some infield depth alongside fellow veteran infielders Robert Andino, Johnny Giavotella and Chris Johnson.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.