Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eckstein donates kidney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For those who didn't hear the news last night, Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein did an incredibly courageous thing: He donated one of his kidneys to his older brother Ken.

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.

--'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.


joemktg said...

Mark: with Pavano and Lee presumably off the table, and Greinke too expensive at this early stage, is the FO going to wait until another club gets desperate for position players and approaches the Nats for a trade? In other words: same rotation with hopes of a trade down the road?

MurrayTheRed said...

Way to go Rick! So the initial predictions on how the Worth deal could effect Crawford were correct, and Jason Stark theory was wrong!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the Werth and Crawford signings have likely won LaRoche more years and more money. It will be interesting to see how that works out and how it affects the Nats.

alexva said...

If LaRoche's value increased it's because Pena and Konerko are off the board. If Derek Lee signs then it goes up more.

John O'Connor said...

Warm wishes to Eck and family.

If the Nats, as many have speculated, package Willingham and Desmond with some prospects to get a pitcher, imagine the defense this year:

Generic competent first baseman
Free agent second baseman (say, Orlando Hudson)

That's a heck of a defense.

Ballinonabudget said...

I've read that Baltimore, Toronto, and San Diego are all looking for 1st basemen.

I don't think San Diego will be much competition, since they are trying to dump salary. So, that leaves Baltimore and Toronto.

After LaRoche and Derrek Lee, the 1st base market gets really thin, with the likes of Jorge Cantu, Troy Glaus, and Mark Kotsay.


Anonymous said...

I know Crawford is younger but didn't everyone call the Nats insane to do a 7 year contract with Werth. Like just the thought of 7 years was a curse of some kind. Now Crawford signs 7 years and a lot more money and everyone calls the Sox brilliant. just sayin

Bob L. Head said...

Crawford is signed through the season in which he will turn 35, which is perfectly reasonable. Werth is signed through the season in which he turns 38, which has the potential to be three years too long in the post-steriod era.

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