The Washington Nationals have until 11:59:59 PM EST tonight (Tuesday) to tender contracts to their ten arbitration-eligible players including pitchers Jerry Blevins, Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Doug Fister, Craig Stammen, Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen, infielder Danny Espinosa and catchers Wilson Ramos and Jose Lobaton.
The Nats and Kevin Frandsen already agreed on a 1-year/$1M deal this winter and as noted everywhere on Monday, 22-year-old slugger Bryce Harper might end up being arbitration-eligible before the month is over.
Harper and the Nationals could be headed to a grievance hearing if they can't settle a dispute which stretches back to the night the 2010 no.1 overall pick agreed to sign with Washington.
Why is this such a big story now? Because if there is a hearing, it will take place this month. Harper's scheduled to make $1.5M in 2015 if he isn't granted the opportunity to go to arbitration.
Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, reportedly claim there was an oral agreement that gave him the right to opt out of the original major league deal if he was eligible for arbitration.
The Nationals, reportedly again, claim there was no such agreement. You can read all about the drama below, which was probably the biggest story of the day on Monday in NatsTown.
[ed. note - "Since there weren't enough stories for a link post yesterday after the holiday weekend, we've included a few day-old links in today's collection in case you're still catching up on the latest news..."]:
Harper vs the Nats: [ed. note - "Q: Are you really going with that 'sensational' headline?" A: "Yes."]:
• "In fact, the provision was so common that the Nationals awarded it to third baseman Anthony Rendon, their first-round pick the following year." - "Nationals want to tangle with Harper? Bizarre" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports
• "So far, the sides have not settled. The hearing is scheduled for this month, but it’s not clear when." - "Nationals, Bryce Harper could land in grievance hearing this month" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
• "The Nationals have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday to tender contracts to nine others -- Jerry Blevins, Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa, Doug Fister, Craig Stammen, Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen and Wilson Ramos." - "Clippard, Strasburg among Nationals' arb-eligibles" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Nationals' prospect talk with our friends Chase and Byron:
• "Johansen had an inconsistent 2014 season overall and turns 24 in January. He is still a raw prospect, yet he is now entering his mid-20s." - "Nationals 2014 minor league spotlight: Jake Johansen" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "Mellen said the changeup is a key pitch for any young hurler making his first steps into the pros, and Fedde will focus on that pitch as he rehabs." - "Baseball Prospectus No. 5 Nats prospect: Erick Fedde" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
Byron Kerr: Baseball Prospectus Nats No. 5 prospect: Erick Fedde http://t.co/pxiStoZKU4— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) December 1, 2014
Nats' reliever talk [ed. note - "And we, meaning I, still think GM Mike Rizzo's going to add a big arm."]:
• "Could Rizzo pluck another closer from the Yankees this winter? Don't count on it, as the Nats have other priorities for their money..." - "The teams that make the most sense for D-Rob" - Andrew Simon, Sports On Earth.com
• "Rafael Soriano lost his closer job with the Washington Nationals last season, but still finished the season with some solid numbers." - "Rafael Soriano could be a late inning bullpen upgrade for Tigers" - Rob Rogacki, Bless You Boys
• "Sure, you can land Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto or Jordan Zimmermann, but any interested team would have to trade a major package of prospects in return." - "Jon Lester's decision set other wheels in motion" - Buster Olney, ESPN
• "Jordan Zimmermann trade rumors persist, but they might be wish-fulfillments springing from general managers who need pitching." - "Nats would be wise to hold on to Zimmermann" - Mike Bauman, nationals.com
• "Sure, Werth's power has dropped off a little, and he'll be hard-pressed to match the numbers posted during 2009 and 2010..." - "Nationals Pastime: Four years in, a look at the Werth contract" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "One of the local L.A. guys asked me who my broadcasting idols were growing up, and I told him that while I didn't have many, I always really looked up to Scully and treasured the times I got to hear him call a game." - "Nationals Pastime: A favorite memory from the 2014 season" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "So, naturally, the Nationals allowed the 34-year-old Hairston to hit free agency, potentially turning his backup outfielder position over to Steven Souza Jr...." - "Scott Hairston on his season and free agency" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "First off, I don’t believe Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder is going to prevent him from playing first base. Think about the type of throws that cause him problems..." - "Nats Insider Mark Zuckerman answers reader questions" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
Never thought of this song reference before:
• "So as we look back at the 2014 season, let's take a glance at how Nationals players grade out in WAR." - "Nationals Pastime: WAR - what is it good for?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "Every Monday afternoon a group of GW student-athletes from the baseball and softball teams head over to Fort DuPont Park, located in SE Washington, D.C., to play some ball and help mentor young children." - "George Washington Athletics Official Athletic Site" - McKinley Tretler, GWSports.com
• "With plans to bring the Hagerstown Suns to Fredericksburg apparently ended, City Treasurer Brenda Wood is moving forward with the sale of the site where a minor league stadium was to have been built." - "Fredericksburg moving on tax sale of stadium site" - Pamela Gould, Fredericksburg.com: Fredericksburg
Han Solo finally admits it pic.twitter.com/rHEMlrKEfR— Darth Vader (@DepressedDarth) December 1, 2014
• "The Washington Nationals named Mike Cubbage and Terry Wetzel as special assistants to the general manager and promoted Eddie Longosz to assistant director of scouting operations." - "People: Executive transactions" - SportsBusiness Daily
• "So what to do – go all in this year with the roster intact, or trade away one or more of those pieces for a young infielder and a starting pitcher..." - "Offseason needs, trade potential and rumors for Nationals, Mets, more – NL East Winter Meeting preview" - Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post
• Braves: "Fulton County officials may reassert their right to have a say in ongoing negotiations over what happens to Turner Field after the Braves depart for Cobb County." - "Fulton County may reassert rights on Turner Field" - AJC Latest News
• Mets: "Ruben Tejada and Eric Young Jr. will know by MLB’s Tuesday night/Wednesday morning deadline whether they have been tendered contracts for next season." - "Eric Young Jr may be goner, but Mets likely retaining Tejada" - Mike Puma, New York Post
• Phillies: "Alou believed Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had to 'clear salary' before making a substantial commitment to Tomas. 'His hands were tied,' Alou said." - "Phillies never made offer for Tomas, agent says" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer
• Marlins: "MLB.com has confirmed the Marlins have presented the frameworks of offers to Jose Fernandez, Adeiny Hechavarria and Christian Yelich." - "Multiyear deals extended to Marlins' core group" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com