Park picked Yankees over Cubs and Nationals

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I agree with Craig that signing Chan Ho Park for just $1.2 million is a very good deal for the Yankees. He has a 3.29 ERA and 101/44 K/BB ratio in 120 innings as a reliever over the past two seasons and at the very least can be a good second-tier setup man behind either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.
Park was available at such a discount because earlier this offseason he turned down a one-year deal worth $3.25 million to re-sign with the Phillies, who then used that money on Danys Baez instead. Once returning to Philadelphia was no longer an option Park was apparently left to choose between lesser offers from the Cubs and Nationals, until his asking price dropped enough that the Yankees swooped in. Here’s Park to explain his decision:

I was deliberating on the Cubs and the Yankees, but their history and championship contention resulted in me picking the Yankees. Until last night, I was leaning toward the Cubs. I wanted to play for a champion-caliber team this year again. I am not certain how much longer I will play baseball, but it will be huge experience and memory to play with the Yankees.

Park has earned approximately $85 million in salary during his 16-season career, so the Nationals probably never had a chance.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.