The Nationals have called up veteran reliever Mike Gonzalez from Class AAA and have sent struggling Ryan Perry to Syracuse.
Gonzalez's contract was officially purchased this morning, with Perry optioned back to Class AAA. To make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, the Nationals transferred closer Drew Storen from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. That procedural move is retroactive to Opening Day and won't prevent Storen from returning from his elbow injury, likely in early July.
Gonzalez, 34, signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals last month and reported to extended spring training to work back into shape after undergoing knee surgery during the offseason. He joined the roster at Syracuse last week and made one appearance for the Chiefs, tossing 1 13 scoreless innings Friday night at Indianapolis.
Though he owns a 2.91 ERA in nine career seasons with the Pirates, Braves, Orioles and Rangers, Gonzalez has battled injuries and poor performances the last two seasons. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, though, was intrigued enough to take a look at the lefty and believes he could provide some veteran experience in their bullpen.
Gonzalez's addition does give the Nationals four relievers in their current bullpen, with Sean Burnett, Tom Gorzelanny and Ross Detwiler already in the fold. That unconventional alignment may not prove to be a long-term solution. The club expects to have veteran right-hander Brad Lidge back from hernia surgery in the next 10 days or so.
Perry, acquired from the Tigers last winter for fellow reliever Collin Balester, made seven appearances, posting a 10.13 ERA and putting 14 men on base in eight total innings.
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!