In separate articles on Monday, both Washington Post reporter James Wagner and MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported on the lack of progress in negotiations between the Washington Nationals and their soon-to-be free agents like shortstop Ian Desmond and right-handed starters Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister.
Zimmermann's representatives and the Nats talked at the Winter Meetings, "laying the groundwork for potential talks," Wagner wrote, but Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo said the two sides hadn't picked up discussions again when he spoke to reporters on December 13th at NatsFest and, "[l]ittle, if anything, appears to be happening on the Fister or Desmond fronts," to this point according to the WaPost reporter.
Over at Nationals.com, Ladson wrote that a source told him that, "the Nationals haven't had any significant negotiations with shortstop Ian Desmond and his representative regarding a contract extension."
And though Desmond's agent was at the Winter Meetings, the two sides didn't talk about extending the 29-year-old infielder according to Ladson's source.
Both Zimmermann and Desmond signed two-year deals last winter, buying out their final years of arbitration-eligibility.
Fister, on the other hand, was one of nine Nationals who filed for arbitration on Tuesday night.
The veteran right-hander, who turned 30 last month, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a 1-year/$7.2M deal last February.
MLBTraderumors.com is projecting an $11.4M salary for Fister in 2015.
Tyler Clippard, one of the other five "core" members of the Nationals' roster headed for free agency next winter, Jerry Blevins, Danny Espinosa, Jose Lobaton, Wilson Ramos, Craig Stammen, Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen are the other eight arbitration-eligible players this winter.
The Nats and their arbitration-eligible players will exchange figures on Friday.
Nine Nationals file for arbitration:
• "As expected, nine Nationals filed for arbitration Tuesday afternoon according to the MLB Players’ Association, completing what is generally a formality..." - "Nine Nationals file for arbitration ahead of Friday’s figure exchange" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
• "These players must have their former salary requests in by Friday, the same date that teams must also have their formal salary offers in to the league." - "Nationals Pastime: Some arbitration notes and minor league signings" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
MASN - Nationals vs Orioles Developments:
• "By no means, however, is the dispute over, and on Monday, attorneys for the Orioles/MASN side filed scorching new papers in a New York state court." - "TV Broadcaster Challenges MLB's Secret $25 Million Deal With Washington Nationals" - Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter
More on the "inside baseball" war over TV money war as Baltimore Orioles challenge MLB's secret $25 million deal http://t.co/JXKwm3poeH— Eriq Gardner (@eriqgardner) January 13, 2015
• "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network says in new court filings it has uncovered further evidence that Major League Baseball tainted the arbitration process to resolve a lingering television-rights fee dispute between the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals." - "MASN says documents show Major League Baseball's conflict of interest" - Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun
• "The new documents, in part incorporating recent discovery submissions from Proskauer, show a level of legal involvement by the law firm beyond MASN's prior assumptions." - "MASN court filing advances claim of MLB bias toward Washington Nationals in media rights dispute" - Eric Fischer, Baltimore Business Journal
• "But the departure of Adam LaRoche forces some amount of change in the Nationals’ 2015 lineup, with somebody else needing to take over cleanup duties." - "Looking at different lineup possibilities" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "It was November, still early in the offseason, so Heath Bell was taken aback when he was first told by his agent that the Nationals asked about him." - "Heath Bell ready to rebound with the Nationals" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
After a few tough seasons, Heath Bell feels refreshed, has lost 30 pounds & wants to rebound with the Nats. http://t.co/kmcXlR7EKC— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) January 13, 2015
• "As another example, the Nationals recently hired Rick Ankiel as a life skills coordinator to help mentor minor leaguers." - "The wave of the future" - David Schoenfield, SweetSpot Blog, ESPN
Nats and Red Sox Minor League Swap:
Red Sox deal catcher Dan Butler to Nationals for pitcher Danny rosenbaum— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) January 14, 2015
Danny Rosenbaum (@drosenbaum10) January 14, 2015
Nationals sign Mike Carp:
• "Carp, 28, was a steady contributor for the Red Sox during their 2013 title run, hitting .296/.362/.523 with nine homers in 243 at-bats taken..." - "Nationals sign 1B/OF Mike Carp to minor league deal with invitation to spring training" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
• "Carp, 28, is a career .254 hitter with a .330 on-base percentage and .744 OPS in 318 major-league games with the Mariners, Red Sox and Rangers..." - "Nats sign Carp, Lerud to minor-league contracts" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "The Nationals have signed infielder/outfielder Mike Carp and catcher Steven Lerud to Minor League deals with invitations to Spring Training..." - "Nats sign Carp, catcher Lerud to Minors deals" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Nevada-based Nationals news:
• "With instantaneous press, there's a lot more demand in communicating with not only your local press, but national press." - "Matt Williams Q&A: On Nevada, Harper, Bonds, chasing Maris and Taylor Swift" - Chris Murray, Reno Gazette-Journal
• "The 6-foot-3 power hitting first basemen was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the ninth round of the MLB draft before deciding to return to Reno for his senior season." - "Nevada's Austin Byler Named Top Senior in College Baseball" - KOLO New 8
NL EAST UPDATES: Phils phile; Marlins org report; Wright swinging; Gattis = protection
• Braves: "When the Braves dealt Justin Upton to the Padres, I still felt like they would eventually complete the major phase of their reconstruction by trading Gattis." - "Inbox: Braves settled on Gattis in left field?" - Mark Bowman, braves.com
• Mets: "David Wright, who finished last season idle because of looseness in his left shoulder, has been hitting off a tee as well as balls flipped to him." - "David Wright hitting off tee" - Adam Rubin, Mets Blog - ESPN New York
• Phillies: "Phillies outfielders Ben Revere and Domonic Brown filed for salary arbitration Tuesday. They are the club's only players eligible for arbitration." - "Revere, Brown file for salary arbitration" - Austin Laymance, phillies.com
• Marlins: "Fully aware of the Marlins' roller-coaster-type history, Stanton had an opt-out clause put into the contract that allows him to become a free agent following the 2019 season." - "Organizational report: Marlins back on the radar" - John Perrotto, USA TODAY Sports