Nats ink Shawn Estes to minor league deal

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According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, the Nationals have signed veteran left-hander Shawn Estes to a minor league contract. Estes, who turns 37 later this month, didn’t appear in the majors last season, but was 3-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 13 starts with Triple-A Albuquerque in the Dodgers organization.

Of course, Mets fans know him best for famously throwing behind Roger Clemens “in retaliation” for a pair of incidents with Mike Piazza. We’ve all seen the video dozens of times, but it’s easy to forget that Estes and Piazza later homered off Clemens in the very same game. Anyhow, Estes will be sure to pack his pinpoint accuracy for camp with the ‘Nats.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.