Nationals call up third catcher Jesus Flores to replace Ryan Zimmerman on roster

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Ryan Zimmerman is headed for the disabled list with an abdominal strain and Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington reports that the Nationals will replace him on the roster with Jesus Flores, which would give them three catchers along with Ivan Rodriguez and Wilson Ramos.

All three guys hit right-handed, so there isn’t really a natural platoon to be formed, and the Nationals have indicated recently that they’re committed to giving Ramos the majority of the action behind the plate because he’s passed Flores as the catcher of the future.

By adding a third catcher it allows manager Jim Riggleman to a) pinch-hit for a catcher without worrying about not having another catcher on the bench, and b) use Rodriguez more often at first base. The first thing is of marginal value and the second thing is of negative value, so while it’s nice to see Flores get back to the majors following two years of shoulder problems the move doesn’t make a ton of sense.

There is a “one million percent” chance Aroldis Champan will opt-out of his deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.

Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.

Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).

It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.

The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.