Here’s Nats’ third baseman Ryan Zimmerman reflecting on Adam Dunn going to the Chisox:
“Knowing that we had one of the three top free agents on our team and we didn’t want to resign him, it’s frustrating for us as players. We’re not in the front office. We don’t make the decisions, and we don’t have to write the checks. But we’re getting to the point on our team where we’re supposed to wait it out, wait for the young guys, start doing some things and start making some moves. Not only are we ready for that, I think the fans are, as well. We’ve trusted the front office, and we still trust them. But we want to best possible team on the field … We’ve trusted their plan the whole time, and now it’s getting to that point where it’s time to do some things. We know we have a good young team, but we need a few pieces. Obviously, you’re not going to do all that in one season, but you can add a piece here and add a piece there.”
You can’t sign everyone, but I can’t for the life of me see why the Nats weren’t more interested in keeping Adam Dunn. He seemed totally amenable to an extension last summer, and it would have been cheaper than the $56 million he’s taking from the Sox. Olney says that he may have gone three-years, $30 million. Even if it was a bit higher, that’s still a bargain. At the very least they could have dealt him at the deadline and gotten some value for him.
Instead he’s walking for picks and the star young slugger is openly questioning the direction of the team. Just remember this when Zimmerman leaves via free agency in a couple of years and the Nats wonder why he won’t engage them in serious negotiations.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.