UPDATE: The Nats are interested in Kris Benson

Leave a comment

Update: According to Ladson, the Nationals have not confirmed their interest in Benson, although they did attend one of his recent workouts. Benson’s agent Gregg Clifton hopes to meet with general manager Mike Rizzo in Tampa next week, where arbitration hearings are scheduled to take place. Clifton also represents right-hander Brian Bruney, whose arbitration case is scheduled for Tuesday, so the two sides have some talking to do. Benson’s name will probably come up at some point, though he hasn’t pitched a full season since 2006.

Friday, 4:55 pm: Bill Ladson of MLB.com tweets that the Nationals are interested in Kris Benson and that Mike Rizzo and Benson’s agent are gonna have a cawfee and tawk about it next week.

I find it strange that the Nats are on record this winter saying that they want to bring in some innings-eating mediocrity of a starter — which they even once said was a “Livan Hernandez-type” — yet they haven’t called former Nat Livan Hernandez, who still sits out there unemployed and who figures to at least be way healthier than a guy like Benson.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

Getty Images
2 Comments

Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.

The Dodgers are concerned about Julio Urias’ shoulder

Getty Images
2 Comments

Things are going great for the Dodgers lately. They’ve won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. They lead the National League in wins and are in first place in, arguably, the best division in baseball.

But there are a lot of moving parts on a baseball team, and even when some things are going great, other things can go not-so-great. Like this:

Urias has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and shut down indefinitely. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, but his shoulder is still bothering him. He has not pitched in the bigs since late May, when he allowed seven runs in less than three innings against the Miami Marlins. He was sent down after that and went 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, six walks and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched in three starts with Oklahoma City before being shelved.