Update:Yorvit Torrealba may have to send Ivan Rodriguez and Brian Schneider Christmas gifts this year. With Pudge's signing today in Washington for 2 years and $6 million, Torrealba is now in a much better position to demand much the same from whatever clubs are interested in his services.Troy E.
Update: In an absolute surprise the Washington Nationals have signed C Ivan Rodriguez to a 2 year deal worth $6 million. The surprise is that anyone would sign a 38 year-old catcher to a multi-year deal, although Rodriguez does have uber-agent Scott Boras on his side. The market is flooded with comparable catchers and this will draw criticism from other clubs for sure.It will be interesting to see how Washington plays this since they have little depth at the top of their minor league system.They may be buying time so they can get their system stocked.
Update: The Washington Nationals are at least showing their fans that they are trying to upgrade their club. Reports from Indianapolis and the Winter Meetings suggest that the Nats are talking with P Jon Garland about a contract. Add this to the earlier reports that they were also interested in John Smoltz, and possibly John Lackey, and it's apparent what the Nationals want to do. It looks as if the Nationals want to bring in veteran hurlers to help with their bridge to the young arms in their system, as well as probable guidance from the vets for those younsters.
Update: It is being reported that the Washington Nationals have acquired RP Brian Bruney from the Yankees for a player to be named later, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.Bruney,28, started 2009 as the Yankees 8th-inning man and performed well in the role until he began to experience elbow problems. While he was out, Phil Hughes took over the role and never handed it back. Bruney can be counted on to be a big part of the Nationals bullpen, perhaps even as a closer if Mike MacDougal is non-tendered.
Update: Prep phenom Bryce Harper has passed his GED test and will now be eligible for the 2010 draft. Harper, who already has been featured on SI's cover, skipped his last 2 years of high school in order to enroll at the College of Southern Nevada while he waited to take his GED test. Some scouts tout Harper as the top pick next year, while others are skeptical that his power will translate as he progresses with quality players.The Washington Nationals hold the top pick in next years draft.
Update: According to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter , the Nationals have expressed interest in free agent pitcher and future Hall of Famer, John Smoltz.
Fantasy Impact: Smoltz likely will pitch for an NL team in 2010. Several teams have shown interest in the veteran. If Smoltz is given either a chance to start or close rather than serve as a middle reliever, he will have decent fantasy value.
Update: Bill Ladson on Twitter reports that the Nationals did not offer arbitration to any of their free agents because they would not receive any compensation should these free agents sign elsewhere.
Fantasy Impact: This was the right move for the Nationals. They likely can re-sign these players for equal or less money if they're interested in bringing any of these guys back.
Update: That strong breeze felt on the east coast this evening is the Nationals fans letting their breath out as they found out that P Stephen Strasburg will not require surgery on his left knee. Strasburg twisted his left knee on Thursday as he was in the outfield shagging fly balls. He has been told that with rest and some therapy he should be good to go by spring training.Unfortunately he will not be able to start in Saturdays championship game for the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the AFL.
Update: According to the Associated Press , phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from his final start in the Arizona Fall League championship. He suffered a minor injury while shagging fly balls.
Fantasy Impact: He was taken to the hospital for x-rays, but the injury is not thought to be serious. Strasburgh should be ready for spring training.
Update: According to the Washington Post , catcher Jesus Flores underwent surgery on his elbow.
Fantasy Impact: Flores is expected to be ready for spring training. Flores is a solid player when healthy, but the Nationals are looking for a backup catcher as Flores has struggled to stay healthy.