Nationals designate reliever Brad Lidge for assignment

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2012 has been a nightmare thus far for Brad Lidge.

First he surrendered seven hits, seven walks and four earned runs in seven innings during the season’s opening month. Then he needed surgery near the end of April to correct a sports hernia and missed six weeks. And now, according to beat writer Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, the veteran reliever has been designated for assignment.

Lidge wound up posting a brutal 9.64 ERA, 2.46 WHIP and 10/11 K/BB ratio across 9 1/3 innings with the Nats.

The 35-year-old seems likely to pass through waivers but should attract interest on the free agent market.

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.