Nats, Astros new spring training complex overrun with scavenging birds

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The Nationals and Astros will begin training in a brand new complex in Palm Beach County, Florida beginning in February. But there are already occupants on the site: birds. Hundreds of them. Trash-scavenging “fish crows” who hang around the site because it’s near a big landfill.

The story comes from Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, who has been providing updates on construction progress at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (note: completion of the park is gonna really push up against the deadline). He spoke with a wildlife biologist who explains that the birds liked the flat ground near the landfill before construction and that, because these birds are go-with-the-flow types, they’ll likely remain common visitors to the place once people start eating a lot of smelly fried ballpark food there as well.

So, enjoy the new complex this spring, Nats and Astros fans. Just make sure you wear a hat and don’t look up with your mouth open all that much.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.