The Nationals are “not actively pursuing” a trade with the Rays for Ben Zobrist

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The Rays reportedly have Ben Zobrist on the block and he would make sense for just about anybody, but especially for a team who has World Series aspirations like the Nationals. However, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that Washington is “not actively pursuing” a trade for the versatile veteran.

The Nationals are currently looking at some combination of Danny Espinosa and Dan Uggla for second base, so there was a clear need even before today, but a deal makes even more sense now that Jayson Werth needs shoulder surgery and will be sidelined for 2-3 months. Zobrist would also be good insurance for Bryce Harper, who has dealt with all sorts of injuries early on in his career. The Rays want a huge return, which isn’t easy for teams to swallow since Zobrist is due to become a free agent after the 2015 season, but Rosenthal ultimately believes that the Nationals should reconsider their position. It’s hard to argue with him.

Zobrist, who turns 34 in March, batted .272/.354/.395 with 10 home runs, 52 RBI, and 10 stolen bases over 146 games last season while making starts at second base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions.

Marlins give Don Mattingly two-year extension

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The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.

Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.

In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.

Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.