Report: Nationals “pushing hard” to land Gio Gonzalez from Athletics

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Nationals are “pushing hard” to acquire left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics. No word on the specific players being offered by Washington, but Rosenthal hears the two sides are discussing a four-for-one deal.

Gonzalez has drawn interest from several teams this winter. The 26-year-old left-hander is arbitration-eligible for the first time as a Super Two player, but he’s still four years away from free agency. The asking price is naturally expected to be sky high.

It doesn’t appear as though anything is imminent and it’s possible that whoever lost out on the bidding for right-hander Yu Darvish could intensify their pursuit in the next 24 hours. The Blue Jays and Rangers (considered the favorites for Darvish) have both been linked to Gonzalez this offseason.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.