2012 MLB Winter Meetings: Washington Nationals Head Home; Sean Burnett Signs With LA Angels; Adam LaRoche Still Unsigned

Rob Carr

The Washington Nationals are headed home to D.C., having finished up their work at the Winter Meetings. Dan Haren will be in the nation's capital for a press conference on Thursday. Adam LaRoche is still unsigned...

With Denard Span in the organization to play center and Dan Haren a passed physical away from joining the Washington Nationals' rotation, the Nats felt they'd accomplished all they could at the Winter Meetings, and with no room on their roster to stash a Rule 5 pick, the Washington Nationals reportedly didn't see themselves getting involved in tomorrow's draft so D.C. GM Mike Rizzo and others left Nashville today after meeting with members of the local press that were on site in Tennessee. The biggest news involving the Nationals came late this afternoon when FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) reported on Twitter that the Los Angeles Angels and Sean Burnett were close to a deal they've since agreed to:

Washington is reportedly still in the market for a left-handed reliever with all signs pointing to J.P. Howell as the Nationals' target this winter. Fellow free agent lefty Randy Choate reportedly signed a three-year deal with St. Louis today too, so there are now two fewer options out there on the free agent market than they were an hour ago...

Will the Nationals move quickly if it's Howell they're after? The 29-year-old reliever posted a 3.04 ERA, a 4.78 FIP, 22 walks (3.93 BB/9) and 42 Ks (7.51 K/9) in 55 games and 50.1 IP in 2012 for Tampa Bay in his seventh MLB season, holding left-handed hitters to a .198/.306/.306 line. Howell made $1.35M last year pitching on a 1-year deal...

The Nationals are still waiting for Adam LaRoche to accept a two-year deal as the Winter Meetings draw to a close. Mr. Rosenthal's colleague at FOXSports.com, Jon Morosi (@JonMorosi), wrote this afternoon on the Twitter that the Nats, "... remain confident they will get LaRoche," and, "[Michael] Morse then could be dealt to Mariners, who have big interest." As Davey Johnson told reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman before leaving, the first base situation is next on the list of things that have to be sorted out this winter, "'Other than our first base situation, I think the only area we needed a little depth was our starting pitching.'"

The Nats' GM told reporters that the Nationals were definitely interested in adding depth to the organization in terms of pitching, but as he was quoted explaining in Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's article it's not a major concern like adding a bullpen arm and sorting out the situation at first. The Nationals have Yunesky Maya, Christian Garcia (a potential relief option the Nats want to stretch out), Ryan Perry (a reliever turned starter), and Zach Duke (likely a long reliever in D.C.) in the organization right now. "We feel good about our depth,'" Rizzo told the WaPost reporter, "'Feeling good about it and being satisfied with it are two different things in my mind.'"

Dan Haren will be in D.C. for a physical on Thursday according to reports from the Winter Meetings yesterday. A LaRoche decision is on the horizon. Will it mean a Morse trade? The Winter Meetings are apparently over for the Nats...

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