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Nationals sign Vance Worley to minor league deal

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Free agent right-hander Vance Worley signed a minor league deal with the Nationals on Saturday, per a team announcement. The deal includes an invite to spring training. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo adds that the contract is for $1 million with an additional $1.65 million in incentives, though the details of the contract have yet to be released by the club.

News of the signing came as some surprise considering comments made by Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette several hours before the deal was announced:

Worley was non-tendered by the Orioles following a one-year run with Baltimore in 2016. He produced a 3.53 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 86 2/3 innings, bringing his total value to just 0.1 fWAR on the year. His career line is little better: in seven major league seasons, the righty has pitched to a 3.75 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Phillies, Twins, Pirates and Orioles.

The 29-year-old swingman will likely compete for a bullpen spot in spring training, as the Nationals already have a stacked rotation featuring Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, Joe Ross and A.J. Cole.

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.