Thursday, December 9, 2010
Eckstein donates kidney
The procedure was performed yesterday, and according to the Nats, both Rick and Ken Eckstein are doing well.
This is the second transplant Ken Eckstein, who suffers from kidney disease, has received in his lifetime. The disease runs in the family, with the Eckstein's father and two sisters also having received transplants.
Rick Eckstein expects to be in the hospital for a couple of days before getting back to work. He has an elaborate coaching setup at his Orlando home, including a vast collection of video clips of decades worth of ballplayers' swings, and invites members of the Nationals to work with him throughout the offseason. He should be 100 percent recovered for the start of spring training.
In other news as we prepare for this morning's Rule 5 draft (which begins at 9 a.m.)...
-- Carl Crawford signed with the Red Sox late last night, agreeing to a seven-year, $142 million contract. No word whether the dynamic outfielder will be offering a portion of his salary to Jayson Werth, Mike Rizzo and Ted Lerner, who all made this possible earlier in the week.
-- Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that Cliff Lee is expected to make his much-anticipated decision by the end of the weekend. The Yankees made their formal offer (reportedly six years and roughly $140 million) to Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, yesterday. And considering the Yankees have lost out on all the other big-name free agents so far this winter, capped by Crawford's signing with rival Boston, you've got to believe they're going to find a way to get this one done. That said, I believe the Nationals' offer is going to be competitive, and I wouldn't even be surprised if they offer slightly more. One Nats executive predicted Tuesday that Lee would end up signing for six years and $144 million. That was before the Yankees made their offer. Sounds about right.
-- The Winter Meetings wrap up this morning with the Rule 5 draft, which begins at 9 a.m. The Nationals, who had the first pick each of the last two years, have the sixth selection today. The front office planned to meet last night to run through the candidates and prepare a depth chart of choices. According to one team source, there are a couple of intriguing names, but overall this is perceived as a weak Rule 5 class. Keep in mind that the Nats could also lose a player in this draft. One name to watch who could be plucked away by another club seeking bullpen help: right-hander Josh Wilkie, who was left unprotected by the Nationals.
Posted by Mark Zuckerman at 6:00 AM