Good evening, Pinstripe Alley. Even though the off-season is mostly over, money is still being tossed around baseball!
- While some franchises that have languished in the second division over the past several years have been accused of unnecessary penny-pinching, one cannot say that the Washington Nationals are such a club. Last year, owner Ted Lerner doled out $126 million over seven years for Jayson Werth, and now, after extending newly-acquired Gio Gonzalez's contract for five years and $42 million, he has extended All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's contract through 2019 with a six-year contract extension worth $100 million. The deal will kick in after the 2013 season and it also includes a
$24 million$16 million (correction) option for 2020, Zimmerman's age-35 season. It's hard to validate giving players such large deals, but when a team is dealing with someone who only just turned 27 and is the face of the franchise (and was its first ever draft pick), it's more understandable. They're trying to build something in the nation's capital with a core of Zimmerman, Strasburg, Gio, and Harper, and that's certainly a good sign for baseball's future there. Fangraphs did a good piece on the deal too and examined if it could work out.
- Maybe the baseball community should not be so fast as to list third baseman David Wright as just another casualty of the New York Mets' disaster. Team sources have said that upper management feels that Wright is a "special player" and that while they are not completely opposed to moving the 29-year old at the deadline this year, it would likely take "four Zack Wheelers" to do so. Hey, if Matt Kemp can get extended in the Dodgers' chaos, maybe the Mets can work something out.
- In, "well, of course" news, the Joel Zumaya era has already ended in Minnesota, as he blew out his right elbow ligament after only 13 pitches of batting practice. It was a high-risk/high-reward deal only guaranteed $400,000 for Zumaya, and the Twins lost. If this is it for the "Guitar Hero," at least he'll always have 2006, when he starred out of the Tigers' bullpen and blew away the American League.
- A bit more extension news... or should I say more "well, of course" news, Jacoby Ellsbury is only signed through 2013, but will be open to an extension with the Red Sox. He knows the Red Sox have a ton of money and that he is good so... duh. Also outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher both expect to hit free agency after the season. That is where they would stand to make the most money so... yeah.
- In A.J. news, Buster Olney likes what he sees so far and thinks that he'll be "a big help" in the 'burgh. Not surprised. I wonder what Tripping Olney thinks...
- Back in New York, reserve outfielder Chris Dickerson cleared waivers and has been outrighted off the 40-man roster to AAA Scranton. I'm a little surprised that some poor team like the Astros didn't pick him up, but then again, would you pick up Dickerson? (pause)
- YANKEES BATTING PRACTICE. I'm an addict.