• There's still no confirmation from the team, but FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal Twittered earlier this afternoon and reported in articles at FOXSports.com's "Buzz: Latest from the MLB Offseason", that the Washington Nationals had signed outfielder Chris Duncan, right-handed reliever Tyler Walker and former Braves' starter Chuck James, a left-hander who, Mr. Rosenthal says, "...figures to fight for the one of the Nationals' open rotation spots behind right-hander Jason Marquis and left-hander John Lannan. At the very least, he represents additional depth for manager Jim Riggleman." James, who hasn't pitched since 2008, is recovering from surgery performed by the dreaded Dr. James Andrews, which repaired a tear in his rotator cuff and cleaned up a frayed labrum according to an Atlanta Braves' press release on the decision to non-tender the then-26-now-28-year-old lefty in December 2008.
• What does the addition of Tyler Walker, a soon-to-be 34-year-old right-hander mean for Drew Storen's attempts to make the Nationals' bullpen out of Spring Training? Walker, a New York Mets' 1997 2nd Round pick, who's pitched for the Giants, Rays and last year the Phillies since debuting with the Mets in 2002, was (2-1) with a 3.06 ERA (139 ERA+) in 32 G and 35.1 IP for the NL Champions from Philadelphia, walking 9 (2.3 BB/9) and striking out 27 (6.9 K/9) while posting a 1.13 WHIP. Walker's the only one of the three players signed today to receive a Major League deal, with Duncan and James both signed to minor league contracts according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's Twitter updates, and Mr. Rosenthal introduces Walker as, "...the fourth addition to the Nationals' bullpen this offseason, joining right-handers Matt Capps and Brian Bruney and lefty Eddie Guardado."
Storen, the Nationals' 2nd '09 1st Round pick, taken 10th overall after No.1 pick Stephen Strasburg, told MLB.com's Bill Ladson yesterday in an article entitled, "Storen has sights set on big things in '10", that, (in Mr. Ladson's words), "Besides trying to make the Opening Day roster, Nationals right-hander Drew Storen plans to pick the brains of teammates Eddie Guardado, Matt Capps and Brian Bruney," to learn all he can from the veteran relievers who will be in Spring Training with the 22-year-old former Stanford Cardinal closer, but when you factor in the additions of Guardado, Capps, Bruney and now Walker, the re-signing of Jason Bergmann, the pending deal with Sean Burnett and the rumors of Collin Balester and Craig Stammen possibly pitching out of the pen...along with the presence of Tyler Clippard who stood out late last season, and it's looking like Storen's really going to have to impress in Florida to avoid starting 2010 in Syracuse.
(ed. note - "Federal Baseball.com's pulling for Storen, while acknowledging others (and they're smart people) who think starting him in Triple-A to hold free agency off for another year is the most-likely scenario...All I'm saying is that Storen's competition better throw strikes, cause he will...")