Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals will not be re-signing Willie Harris, who spent the past three seasons in Washington, and are interesting in signing Jerry Hairston Jr. as his utility man replacement.
Harris and Hairston are pretty similar, with Hairston perhaps bringing a bit more defensive value to the table, and Ladson notes that the Nationals could view him as a fallback option at second base should rookie Danny Espinosa falter.
Along those same lines, Ladson speculates that the Nationals could have renewed interest in David Eckstein after failing to follow up on some talks with the veteran infielder early in the offseason. Eckstein, like Hairston, would serve as an experienced backup behind the young middle infield duo of Espinosa and Ian Desmond.
OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.
King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, or else will play first base, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.
The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.