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Deal Or No Deal? The Washington Nationals Get Into Today's Free Agent Roundup.

Strange things are afoot already this Winter...As I checked my usual online sources throughout the day to see what if any news about the Nationals had broken over the wires, I kept reading stories which hours later were countered with denials, ending the evening with Washington getting in on the fun when's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Agent denies Perez deal in the works", arrives, continuing the day's trend with Odalis Perez's agent providing a rebuttal to published reports...

Edgar Renteria close to deal with Giants. Apparently, New York radio reporter Sweeny Murti started this one up with a report on WFAN which claimed that the two sides had agreed upon a 2-year, $18 M dollar deal. The story was picked up everywhere, quickly followed by a denial from the player's agent, which could in fact just be a negotiating tactic, but necessitates a retraction by anyone who ran with the original story either way. There's no explanation of where the story originated, or revelation about Mr. Murti's source, just an article at by writer Chris Haft entitled, "Reports linking Giants, Renteria false", which quotes both Renteria's representatives and San Francisco team officials who each claim complete ignorance of any such agreement. 

Sawks Make Awfuh Ta Tek...(Translation : Red Sox Make Offer To Varitek)...Oh no they didn't according to the Red Sox' Captain Jason Varitek's agent Scott "Maximum" Boras, who refutes reports that originate with Red Sox' radio station WEEI's Rob Bradford's post entitled, "Sources: Initial offer to Varitek for one year", which quotes the oft-quoted "sources familiar with the negotiations", in a report claiming that Boston had reached a one-year deal with their catcher/captain which would keep him in Fenway until twenty-ten.'s Ian Browne then begins his own article entitled, "Boras refutes report of offer to Varitek", by writing:

"If the Red Sox did offer free agent catcher Jason Varitek a one-year contract, as Web site reported on Monday morning, it is news to agent Scott Boras."

East to West and North to South...What starts with an allegedly erroneous report out of New York on a San Franciso signing and travels back East to the story of the Sox inking Varitek, heads south and ends in DC with writer Bill Ladson checking in tonight in an article entitled, "Agent denies Perez deal in works", in which Mr. Ladson clears up any misconceptions caused by what he describes as an "" report about the negotiations between the Nationals and the veteran left-hander, Odalis Perez, as Mr. Ladson quotes Mr. Perez's agent and a "baseball source familiar with the Nationals' thinking", who both deny that any such deal is in the works. What do the Nationals have to say for themselves? According to Mr. Ladson:

"The Nationals on Monday night would not confirm that such an offer is in place."

The source of the rumor? An article by's Enrique Rojas entitled, "2008 Free Agency", where Mr. Rojas quotes... "a source familiar with negotiations", "an unnamed team source", "a team source who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitive nature of negotiations", ...a totally clueless blogger? No, Uh, actually, Mr. Rojas quotes...Odalis Perez? In the article, Mr. Perez tells**

"'My agent is working with the Nationals. We have an offer for two or three years that is subject to fine-tuning of details,' Perez said to on Monday."

Uh, Odalis Perez's agent, Mr. Martin Arburua? Anything you'd like to tell your client maybe? Mr. Arburua tells's Bill Ladson, back in Mr. Ladson's article, "Agent denies Perez deal in works":

"'What I told you [last week] is exactly how it is,' Arburua said by phone on Monday night. 'I want the Nationals to understand that we are clear. We talked, and that's where it is.'"

It's the HOT STOVE, Ladies and Gents, who knows what's true?


(ed. note - " ** = edited for poor google translation-sake only, the original google-translated quote: "'My agent is working with National. We have an offer for two or three years and is subject to fine-tune details,' Perez said to on Monday.'")