UPDATE: That was a quick targeting. Heyman reports that the Nationals and Jackson have a deal. Jackson was seen in an airport, presumably on his way to Washington for a physical. The shocker: it’s reportedly a one-year deal. Heyman says it’s in the $8-12 million range.
Which, yes, we’ve heard that Jackson was willing to accept a one year deal, but one had to figure that a Scott Boras client signing with Washington would have caused Mike Rizzo to go crazy and sign him for eleventeen years and dicketseven billion dollars. This is a pretty fair deal, all things considered.
The Nationals still have John Lannan of course and a lot of other pitching, creating a crowded staff. Adam Kilgore reports, however, that Washington is content to enter spring training with all of these guys, Lannan included, and make trades then if necessary.
1:17 PM: Excitement in Washington: First they beat John Lannan in arbitration, and now they’re “aggressively shopping him.” To whom? Doesn’t matter. Because the interesting part of it is the why: to make room for Edwin Jackson.
That’s Ken Rosenthal’s report. He thinks that Washington is way interested in Jackson and not other options like Roy Oswalt or, for that matter, Lannan.
The Nats signing a Boras client? What are the friggin’ odds?
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.