UPDATE: Nationals get their rainout anyway

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6:00 p.m. EDT update: Mother nature overruled MLB.

Tonight’s game between the Dodgers and Nationals in D.C. is again off, the Nationals announced.  A split doubleheader will be played Thursday.

Both teams had agreed to call it off hours ago, but MLB intervened and insisted that the Nationals wait before calling it.  With the forecast for the game still looking terrible, the Nationals got permission to postpone the game just before 6 p.m. local time.

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The Dodgers announced this afternoon that Wednesday night’s game against the Nationals in D.C. had been postponed due to rain and would be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday.  Nats manager Davey Johnson confirmed it, and players tweeted to the same effect.

But the game is, for the moment anyway, still on.  The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore reports that MLB stepped in and ordered the Nationals to try to get the game in tonight.

Kilgore adds that GM Mike Rizzo has been in communication with Joe Torre in the league office about the situation.  Apparently, MLB is none too happy with some of the early calls on rainouts lately, even though the early calls make it easier for fans set to go to the game.

So, the two sides will at least try to play tonight.  Dana Eveland and Chien-Ming Wang are the scheduled starters.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.