The Nationals don’t appear content going into the season with Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina or Jayson Werth as the starting center fielder.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals have expressed interest in Diamondbacks’ outfielder Gerardo Parra. Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo signed Parra to his first professional contract when he was Arizona’s director of scouting from 2000-2006.
It’s not clear who the Nationals would offer in return, but Ladson mentions that the club has some starting pitching depth. That might not be very appealing for Arizona, though, as they already have a full rotation and plenty of young starting pitching on the way.
Parra won a Gold Glove in left field last season, but the addition of Jason Kubel is expected to push him into a part-time role this year. The 24-year-old batted .292/.357/.427 with eight homers, 46 RBI, 15 stolen bases and a .784 OPS in 2011 and has experience at all three outfield positions. He remains under team control through 2015.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: