Free agency is a breeze for a good lefty reliever.
According to beat writer James Wagner of the Washington Post, free agent left-hander Mike Gonzalez said in a phone interview on Saturday morning that he’s already drawn interest from 10 different teams this offseason. Nationals included.
“They’ve had a couple conversations,” Gonzalez said of the team that signed him to a minor league deal early this summer. “[My agent] told me that they’re definitely interested and I’m definitely interested. It’s going to be good. We haven’t started throwing money there. But there’s interest on every side.”
Gonzalez posted a solid 3.03 ERA and 39/16 K/BB ratio in 35 2/3 innings this season for Washington while holding left-handed batters to a .179/.257/.269 slash line. The 34-year-old owns a 2.94 career ERA.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.