The Nationals made a run at free agent southpaw Cliff Lee before he signed with the Phillies. They also tried for right-hander Zack Greinke before the Royals dealt him to the Brewers.
The free agent market is mostly a scrap heap by now, but one top free agent pitcher remains and the Nationals are doing their best to bring him in.
According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Washington remains “in the mix” for Carl Pavano, who is expected to decide on a team within the next week or two.
Pavano, 34, posted a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 32 starts this past season for the Twins. He struck out 117 batters and walked only 33, amassing a six-year high 221 innings.
The Cubs, Brewers and Rangers have also expressed varying levels of interest and Minnesota may look into re-signing him if his price drops low enough. At the moment, the right-hander is thought to be seeking a three-year contract worth between $10-$11 million annually.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.