Friday, December 3, 2010

Wang, Nieves, Peralta non-tendered

The Nationals elected not to tender 2011 contracts to pitchers Chien-Ming Wang, Joel Peralta and catcher Wil Nieves before tonight's deadline, instantly making all three players free agents. They did, however, come to terms on one-year contracts with Jesus Flores and Alberto Gonzalez, avoiding arbitration with each player.

All major league clubs were required to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players before midnight, moves that essentially confirm those players will return next season.

The Nationals tendered contracts to their five other arbitration-eligible players: outfielders Josh Willingham and Michael Morse and pitchers John Lannan, Sean Burnett and Doug Slaten. The two sides have until January 18 to either come to terms on their own or exchange arbitration figures to an independent panel that will rule on their cases in February.

Despite being cut loose by the Nationals tonight, both Wang and Nieves could return on smaller, non-guaranteed contracts. Had they gone to arbitration, Wang would have been assured of making at least $1.6 million in 2011, with Nieves assured of making at least

The Nationals decided not to commit that much to Wang after paying the right-hander $2 million last season without ever appearing in a game. The Taiwanese hurler spent the entire year rehabbing following major shoulder surgery and wasn't able to face opposing hitters in a game situation until a couple of brief appearances this fall in the Florida instructional league.

Wang's eventual progress, though, could convince the Nationals to now re-sign him to a contract with a lower base salary but plenty of incentives based on games pitched in 2011. Other teams may have interest in the former 19-game winner, but Wang may show loyalty to a Washington club that was willing to take a chance on him this year.

Nieves, meanwhile, could return to the Nationals on a minor-league contract. The 33-year-old catcher appeared in 199 games over the last three seasons, hitting a combined .244. But with Ivan Rodriguez returning next year along with prospect Wilson Ramos and recovering Jesus Flores, Nieves is getting bumped down the organizational depth chart.

Peralta's non-tender was a surprise. The veteran reliever was a surprise key contributor this season, posting a 2.02 ERA in 39 appearances. He would have been in line to receive a raise through arbitration, up to perhaps $800,000.

In agreeing to terms now with Flores and Gonzalez, the Nationals avoid going to arbitration with both players. Flores, who is still attempting to return from a major shoulder injury sustained in May 2009, made $750,000 last season. Gonzalez, who qualified for arbitration as a "Super 2" player, made $415,500 last season.


Anonymous said...

Peralta was an overpaid bum! We need a cheaper alternative! Or so I would say if I was Ted Lerner....

Anonymous said...

Peralta is 4 years older than Doug Slaten. He was born in 1976. Slaten in 1980. That should explain the FO's thinking. Think Livo.

With a good crop of young power armed relievers almost major league ready it appears to makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Di Peralta kick The Lerner's dog or something, he is good enough to pay 800k, I guess we know who will be sacrificed to pay Cole Kimball next to nothing in 2011!!

Maybe here is the real reason te Nats are being cheap this offseason: they lost 19 million which they had been paid already to fairfax county in a land deal in court!

Wally said...

I agree this is puzzling. With the premium on pitching of all sorts, wasn't there even a chance to get C- prospect or 5th OF?

Doc said...

Peralta at $800,000 is a bargain! Sign him and trade him, if the so-called bumper crop actually materializes.

At least he's got a real arm, which is more than some of Rizzo's other expensive bum arm deals.

Losing Dunn, and non-tendering Peralta. Could be that Rizzo may make a better scout than GM.

Ex-Nat Dunn said...

@ Doc - I think you hit the nail on the head, Rizzo is a good judge of talent but a terrible administrator. The piece on Stan Kasten saying you have to work the room until all hours of the morning during the Winter Meetings does not seem like something Rizzo is cut out for, a good comparison would be Stan Kasten as Rex Ryan vs. Mike Rizzo as Bill Bellichek...which one would you rahter have a long converstaion with, the gregarious loud fellow or the guy who looks like he has not showered in a month and prefers a hoodie to a suit!?

Harper_ROY_2012 said...

Non-tendering Peralta does not make any sense at all, he was not even on the radar this time last year and now he has prven himself a great addition to the bullpen no matter what role they put him in. It is funny how guys who are not "Rizzo guys" are dirt.

I hope this is the end of the Wil Nieves experimet, it has gone on entirely too long. The best part of not haing Wil on the roster is that Dave & Charlie lose their main schtick with the Tony Vega dancing, hopefully this means the worst radio guys in the business will be canned soon, they are both so bush league, how about bringing in some real radio guys who know about baseball!!!!

Section 223 said...

I think letting go of Peralta just means that Ballestar is almost certainly going to be in the bullpen next season. Also at lower cost and a mid 90s fastball.

Dave said...

Harper_ROY, if you think Slowes and Jaegler are the worst radio guys in MLB, you must not have listened to a lot of MLB radio broadcasts.

Harper_ROY_2012 said...

@ Dave - when I travel I often listen to MLB games on the radio while I drive around this great country and their much better annoucers in other markets, heck even the Orioles crew makes Dave and Charlie look like clowns, our guys should be on public access TV with their tired ol schtick not clogging up my airwaves. The Nats should shell out some good money to recruit a new radio team, maybe get someone who wants some side work from ESPN Radio

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