Jorge De La Rosa returned to the Colorado Rockies after they allowed the 29-year-old left-hander to become a free agent, reportedly turning down bigger offers from Pittsburgh and Washington and providing, as Denver Post baseball writer Jim Armstrong quoted Rockies' GM Dan O'Dowd saying in an early December article entitled, "Rockies reach out to Jimenez, Gonzalez", yet, "another example of players who just want to be here." Zack Greinke used his no-trade clause to block a trade to the Washington Nationals, though the Nats were reportedly at least interested in making a deal with the Royals. The one-time Kansas City ace, "...rejected Nats but accepted Brewers," because, SI.com's Jon Heyman reported on Twitter (@SI_JonHeyman), "...he believes milwaukee can win sooner, i hear. also said to like city." The Nats were said to have been pursuing free agent first baseman Derrek Lee, who signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
According to Boston Globe.com writer Nick Cafarado, the Nationals and NatsTown's residents might have to prepare for rejection again...
...as Mr. Cafardo writes in this week's edition of his Baseball Notes column entitled, "Bargain hunters cooking up plans at the Hot Stove", that right-hander Carl Pavano (who was supposed to decide this past week on a home for 2011 and beyond), may, perhaps, choose a team this week, and, "...is likely to decide between Minnesota and Washington,":
"We know his preference is to return to the Twins, but the Nationals will offer him a better contract. It won't be an easy decision for the former Red Sox farmhand, and he may take less to stay where he's happy."
The Nats, according to Mr. Cafardo, "know it's tough to get players to buy into the future of the team, and that's why they overpaid for Jayson Werth and why they may give [Adam] LaRoche the three-year deal he's seeking." LaRoche was said to have been close to a deal in Baltimore a few weeks back, but things fell apart at some point and the O's turned to D. Lee. The Nationals and LaRoche may just have to accept each other. The first reports of the Nats' offer to LaRoche, however, came out on Friday shortly after Lee signed in Baltimore and as of this morning there's still no word from the free agent or his representatives.
Is this another case of D.C. GM Mike Rizzo's front office maintaining radio silence until a deal is reached, or another case (like Adam Dunn's two years back) of a player holding out in the hope that someone will save him from having to accept the Nationals' offer because it's far and away the best deal out there? Back then in February of 2009, as ESPN.com's Rumor Central reported, Adam Dunn was looking for a 4-year/$56 million dollar deal, but settled for 2-years/$20M when the Nats outbid the rest of the NL at least, since Dunn maintained at the time that he didn't want to leave the National League. Will Washington have to go to three years to get LaRoche, or can they make him take two since there are seemingly no others suitors out there for the 31-year-old, seven-year-vet?