Nationals acquire Jonny Gomes from Reds

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That’s not where anyone expected him to go.

The Nationals announced Tuesday that they’ve acquired outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash from the Reds for outfielder Bill Rhinehart and left-hander Chris Manno.

Even though the Nationals are 49-52, leaving them nine games back of the Braves in the wild card and 15 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, they’re picking up an outfielder who is set to become a free agent at season’s end.  Gomes is a useful player with his ability to smack lefties around, and he’ll be a nice fit as a platoon partner for Laynce Nix in left field for the next couple of months.  Whether that really does the Nationals any good or not is debatable.

In return, the Reds get a 26-year-old Double-A outfielder and a 22-year-old low-A-ball reliever.  Both players have terrific numbers this year; Rhinehart is hitting .283/.376/.587 with 21 homers and 59 RBI in 276 at-bats for Double-A Harrisburg, while Manno has a 1.04 ERA and a 69/15 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings for low-A Hagerstown.  Still, neither is considered a very legitimate prospect.  Manno has the better chance of surfacing in the majors someday.

The bigger news for the Reds is that Gomes’ departure has resulted in Yonder Alonso’s arrival, as the former first-round pick was called up today.  Alonso, a natural first baseman, hit .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers while playing mostly left field for Triple-A Louisville.  A left-handed hitter, he’ll likely share time with the right-handed Chris Heisey in left field, leaving Fred Lewis to take a backseat.

No lease extension, but Orioles and governor tout partnership

orioles camden yards
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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.