The Nationals, as expected, have activated Ian Desmond from the 15-day disabled list and will have their All-Star shortstop back in the lineup for the start of tonight's homestand against the Mets.
To make room for Desmond on the 25-man roster, the Nationals have designated Cesar Izturis for assignment, ending the veteran infielder's brief stay with the organization after only 10 days.
Desmond was hitting .286 with 17 homers, 53 RBI and a .503 slugging percentage when a lingering oblique strain finally forced him to the DL on July 22. What was originally expected to be a six-week rehab process wound up taking only four weeks, with the Nationals bringing Desmond back without him ever appearing on a minor-league rehab assignment or facing live pitching.
Desmond's return moves Danny Espinosa back to second base and sends Steve Lombardozzi to the bench, though manager Davey Johnson said he will attempt to try to find at-bats for the rookie utilityman to keep him fresh.
Izturis was claimed off waivers from the Brewers on Aug. 6 and appeared in only five games for the Nationals, going 2-for-4 with a double and four runs scored. By designating him for assignment, the Nationals now have 10 days to either trade Izturis, pass him through waivers and outright him to Class AAA or release him.
You can always count on the New York Daily News to run an audacious cover. The tabloid delivered again Friday with an image edited to show two of the league's best young hitters in Yankees pinstripes: Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and Orioles short stop Manny Machado.
"Bats to the Future" is exactly the headline you'd expect, too.
It's hard to tell what's more odious to Washington and Baltimore fans: the image itself or the suggestion that baseball's new collective bargaining agreement makes it easier for the Yankees to poach their stars.
The premise of that argument comes from sources who say the new CBA contains two changes beneficial to New York: reduced revenue sharing burden (due to tweaks in how sharing is calculated, plus a deduction for the cost of building and running Yankee Stadium) and an increased luxury tax threshold.
Without going into number crunching detail, the Daily News explains how the club could afford Harper and/or Machado when they become free agents after the 2018 season.
The article's tone of inevitability, despite its many assumptions, will rankle fans of all 29 other teams. After all, the Yankees aren't the only franchise interested in Harper and Machado.
The Nationals and Orioles will presumably try to keep their stars. But to do that, they may have to fend off potentially historic money from the Bronx.
MORE BASEBALL: Nats let Ben Revere walk
Ben Revere was brought to Washington in the hopes he could solve the centerfield and lead-off issue that plagued them the previous year. After just one year, the Nationals have decided to move on from Revere as they declined to tender him.
The move makes Revere a free agent after a .217/.260/.300 season that fell way below expectations. Revere tied his career-high with two home runs and added 24 RBI while scoring 44 runs.
Stay tuned for more information!