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.
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.
Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.
Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.
As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.
Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.