Remember last year how Phillies fans came down to Washington en masse for a couple of series against the Nationals? About how no one in Washington except the accountants were happy with it? About how it was a symbol of just how bad Nationals baseball was that fans from an opposing team would travel and take over the Nationals’ very own ballpark? Well, Jayson Werth went on a radio show today and assured Nats fans that that won’t happen again:
“That’s gonna change quick. I think you guys are gonna see. The owners are on board, and Mike Rizzo’s done a good job. The reason those people come over here is they don’t have a chance to watch their team in Philadelphia. And as soon as we start filling the seats here with Nats fans, those people are gonna go away and we’re gonna regain home-field advantage. And I’m looking forward to that day, for sure.”
That’s admirable. And I really do hope that Werth helps instill a fresh new attitude about the Nationals in their hometown. But if he thinks that’s going to do anything apart from inspiring Philly fans to try even harder to buy out the seats to the first Nats-Phillies series in Washington next season he’s crazy. If anything, tickets in CBP will be even harder to come by then they were last season, what with Cliff Lee and all. And with Werth drawing this line in the sand, you just know that there are thousands of Philly fans who will be eager to cross it.
By the way: that first series is April 12th through the 14th. Get your credit cards and bus tickets ready, Philly fans!
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.