Drew Silva

Nationals sign veteran infielder Stephen Drew to one-year, $3 million deal

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Washington has found its utility middle infielder, agreeing to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract late Tuesday night with Stephen Drew. The agreement was first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, who adds that Drew can earn another $1.25 million in performance-based incentives as part of the one-year deal.

Drew has batted just .185/.257/.347 in 728 plate appearances over the last two seasons, but he did manage to slug 17 home runs in 131 games (115 starts) with the Yankees in 2015.

The 32-year-old has a .765 career OPS against right-handed pitching.

He’ll back up shortstop and second base for the Nats in 2016.

Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Taylor Teagarden named in Al Jazeera investigation on PEDs

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A documentary scheduled to air Sunday night on Al Jazeera will reportedly link MLB players Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, and Taylor Teagarden to a pharmacist named Charlie Sly who worked for an Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011 and admitted recently on secret video recordings that he provided PEDs — primarily HGH — to a number of professional athletes. Peyton Manning, James Harrison, and Mike Tyson are among the other big names.

Travis Waldron and Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post were given a preview copy of the documentary and have further details.

Sly made the admissions about Howard and Zimmerman to British hurdler Liam Collins, who told Sly he wanted to obtain performance-enhancing drugs to make a run at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Teagarden is apparently shown discussing his own PED use on an undercover video in the Al Jazeera report.

Howard and Zimmerman have not aged well and Teagarden has spent most of his career in the minor leagues, so it’s not the juiciest of PED stories on the baseball end. Manning is obviously going to dominate the news cycle. But there’s still the potential here for major fallout in Major League Baseball, which has very publicly attempted to clamp down on HGH with stiffer penalties and in-season blood testing.

Howard is owed $25 million from the Phillies in 2016 with a $10 million buyout for 2017. Zimmerman has four years and $60 million remaining on his contract with the Nationals. If the allegations are proven true, they could both face the 80-game suspension given to first-time PED offenders. Those suspensions would be without pay.

Teagarden, currently a free agent, would also get popped for 80 games.

William Burck, an attorney at Quinn Emanuel who represents both Howard and Zimmerman, issued this statement early Sunday morning to MLB Trade Rumors

“It’s inexcusable and irresponsible that Al Jazeera would provide a platform and broadcast outright lies about Mr. Howard and Mr. Zimmerman. The extraordinarily reckless claims made against our clients in this report are completely false and rely on a source who has already recanted his claims.  We will go to court to hold Al Jazeera and other responsible parties accountable for smearing our clients’ good names.”

Sly has recanted the claims he made to Collins, calling Collins a “reputed fraudster.”

Indians sign Ross Detwiler to minor league deal

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As first reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Indians have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with left-hander Ross Detwiler. He can earn $1 million if he makes the 25-man roster out of spring training and remains on it throughout 2016.

Detwiler posted a brutal 7.25 ERA in 58 1/3 innings this past season between the Rangers and Braves, but he had a very successful seven-year run with the Nationals from 2007-2014, working both as a starter and reliever.

Cleveland will probably use the 29-year-old as a kind of swingman, assuming he can put his 2015 troubles behind him. They were not health-related troubles.

Hyun-Jin Ryu expects to be ready for beginning of 2016 season

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Hyun-Jin Ryu missed the entire 2015 season to a lefty shoulder injury that eventually required major surgery, but he began a throwing program in early October and hasn’t encountered a setback through two-plus months of rehab.

Ryu said this weekend at the Dodgers’ annual holiday party that he expects to be 100 percent recovered and prepared for a full workload by the beginning of the 2016 campaign. “My personal goal is to be in the rotation Opening Day until the season ends,” the South Korean left-hander told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com on Saturday.

Ryu will be asked to carry a lot of weight in 2016 with the Dodgers losing Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks this offseason. Los Angeles pursued Johnny Cueto, but the team’s final bid finished either second or third to San Francisco. And the Dodgers had a three-year, $45 million deal in place with Hisashi Iwakuma in early December but pulled it off the table after Iwakuma’s physical. He went on to re-sign with the Mariners.

Andrew Friedman and Co. could still trade for an impact starter or two.

Nationals considering Wei-Yin Chen

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As first reported by MLB.com’s Bill Ladson and now confirmed by Buster Olney of ESPN, the Nationals are showing interest in free agent starter Wei-Yin Chen. Olney notes that Chen is a Scott Boras client, like many of the Nats’ current players. Ladson, however, says it’s not clear if Washington is willing to do a five-year deal.

Chen registered a strong 3.34 ERA, 1.218 WHIP, and 153/41 K/BB ratio across 191 1/3 innings this past season for the Orioles. He has a 3.72 ERA (110 ERA+) in 117 starts since leaving Japan for Baltimore on a three-year, $12 million contract with a $4.75 million club option for 2015.

That deal proved to be a huge bargain.

MASN’s Roch Kubatko tweeted last week that the 30-year-old left-hander wants $100 million over five years, and it’s not a crazy request in a market where Jeff Samardzija can command $90 million. Chen was a much better pitcher than Samardzija in 2015, and Chen is even a few months younger than the new Giants right-hander.