DALLAS — Good morning from the winter meetings, Day 2, here at the Hilton Anatole.
After the Nationals were unknowingly involved in one of the biggest false rumors of the meetings thus far — that they’d offered six years to left-hander C.J. Wilson last night — it’s been a relatively quiet morning for them. That rumor was, of course, denied by several Nationals officials and was proven to be incorrect shortly after it was floated.
It’s just past 10:30 a.m. CT here in Texas and so far the big news is that the Miami Marlins have a reported 10-year offer on the table to Albert Pujols. You may recall that the Marlins have already signed Heath Bell and Jose Reyes in the past week. If they were to sign Pujols, and apparently some of the figures that have been floated are about $22 million per year, they’d have committed more to three players this week than in total payroll the last nine years.
As with yesterday, we’ll keep this post update as often as possible with any news, notes and rumors that are passed along through the lobby.
For a recap on yesterday’s rundown, check out our post.
1:40 p.m. (CT) - It’s been several trips around the lobby, one large coffee and half a phone battery since I last posted so here’s what’s going on at this point: not a whole lot.
The buzz in the lobby is still firmly on the Marlins and Albert Pujols and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has made two well-escorted trips through the lobby as rumors run wild that the Marlins top brass are meeting with Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano to hammer out a possible 10-year, $200 million-plus deal.
As for the Nationals, the rumors have centered on their desire to perhaps add a center fielder. B.J. Upton’s name has again come up with FoxSports.com reporting the Nationals have asked the Rays about the Virginia native. This is not exactly new news. The Nationals and Upton, Upton and the Nationals, it’s been a dance they’ve danced with the Rays for some time. The Nationals like Upton — and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is very fond of the Upton family — but thus far the Rays have asked for far more for him than Washington wants to give up and Tampa hasn’t been inclined to accept what the Nationals are offering. Upton is also a free agent following the 2012 season, made more than $4 million in 2011 and is due for a raise in arbitration.
So where does that leave us? Right back where we started today, where we were at the trade deadline and where we’ve been for some time now. We’ll see if they get past where they’ve been before this time.
2 p.m. (CT) - Along the center field lines of discussion, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the Nationals are making it known to teams that they’ll listen on Roger Bernadina and again notes they’re talking about B.J. Upton.
Like I said before, none of this should come as a surprise to any Nationals fans who follow the team regularly. Bernadina has basically played himself out of contention for an everyday role and while the Nationals would have no issues keeping him around as a fourth outfielder, they don’t view him as the answer in center field. It’s logical that they’d see how other teams value him.
5:30 p.m. (CT) - The Nationals are among Mark Buehrle’s final five teams, a source with knowledge of the decision said, and the left-hander could be getting close to making a final choice. That’s good news for the Nationals who have made him their top free agent target this offseason and for GM Mike Rizzo who felt a “connection” with Buehrle when he visited him at his home in St. Louis before Thanksgiving. For all the details on the Buehrle situation, check out our post from earlier.
Rizzo also added that “not much has changed” with regard to the Nationals and the Rays long-documented discussions over B.J. Upton. The Nationals had talks with a number of teams today but Rizzo didn’t feel anything was imminent though he noted that “that could change rapidly.”
Rizzo also noted that if the Nationals were to make a trade they’re trading with the depth they’ve developed in their farm system and not with their core young players — read Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Michael Morse, etc.