Around the NL East: David Wright Extended, Carlos Ruiz PEDing, Welcome home, Denard Span

Mike Stobe

A busy week in the NL East saw everyone but the Marlins see something substantial this week.

Wow, what a busy week this has been. The Braves get Upton, lose Hanson, gain Jordan Walden. And that's just the Braves! Much else has happened within the rest of the division too. Unless you're the Marlins; ain't nothing there but unrest! Sucks to be them!

Welcome back to the basement.

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David Wright pretty much signs remainder of career with Mets - NY Times
Reported eight years, $138M. The specifics of the yearly breakdown aren't available yet, but I'm going to assume that it's heavily backloaded, and there's probably a boatload of deferred money too. And it's the largest contract handed out by the Mets, EVAR. But for what it's worth, it's cool to see the Mets get the job done and keep their last bastion of hope secured and locked up for the long haul.

The One Who Stayed - AA
A lovely piece from the fellas at AA. This really could something where the names are replaced, and it could apply to just about every team, except maybe the Yankees, but regardless when I read this, I actually do feel a little happy for Mets fans to a degree, and hope that the Braves can make such things happen with guys like Jason Heyward and Martin Prado.

When you put it that way, it makes sense - ESPN
Jon Niese breaks down a major reason why David Wright signed:

I know he wants to be what Chipper was in Atlanta. He wants to be -- he is -- the face of the franchise. And he wants to be a part of it throughout his whole career.

I wonder if the Mets knew this in advance, if it would have given them a modicum of available discount back?

Please don't - Twitter
The last thing the Mets should want is accusation of copying the Yankees of anointing the captain's label onto David Wright.

And if I'm David Wright, I'm reconsidering this too - ESPN
As much as it's hard to find a talented American third baseman to represent the United States in the WBC, let's be honest here; World Baseball Classic hangovers have plagued American players pretty badly in the two prior WBC already, I'm sure the Mets aren't enthused about Wright's willingness to play, especially after signing the extension.

Moving on to R.A. Dickey; the Royals are interested in him despite the fact that he was never a Brave - NY Post
The Royals are purportedly offering up several minor leaguers for a one-year rental of R.A. Dickey, but it does not include Wil Myers or Alex Gordon. I'm guessing the Mets pass unless better chips are added.

Orel Hershiser believes Dickey can keep pitching effectively for a lot longer - NY Post
Do you know how annoying it is that when it comes to R.A. Dickey, I have to second and third guess the headlines I write, because I don't want to make it seem like I'm trying to make people snicker and go all Beavis and Butthead on me?

Mets bring Tim Byrdak back on minor league deal - MetsBlog
The highly effective LOOGY that had shoulder surgery due to excessive use has been given a second chance by the Mets. He will also receive an invite to Spring Training to prove himself.

To tender or not to tender - NY Daily News
Now that David Wright has been settled, the Mets can move onto other things like R.A. Dickey and filling out the rest of the team. The Mets plan on employing the non-tender, and re-sign for less tactic with guys like Mike Pelfrey, recovering from Tommy John surgery, the bust known as Andres Torres, and our old friend, Manny Acosta, whom I said last season, if he he manages to produce even just 0.5 fWAR, I would eat my hat. He produced -0.4 fWAR in 2012. /selfbackpat

Speaking of old friends, Mets hope to improve pinch-running apparently - MetsBlog
For nothing more than cash, the Mets have acquired old Braves farmhand, Brandon Hicks from the Athletics. Some of you might actually remember when he was still with the Braves in 2010, and somehow managed to score more runs than he had plate appearances.

Canada can't have nice things - ESPN
Mets' double-A team moving to Ottawa? Nope.

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Carlos Ruiz suspended 25 games in 2013 for performance-enhancing Adderall - TGP
Somewhere in this story, I'm trying to make jokes about "Little Annie Adderall" or just making snide remarks of how it sure seemed like he was on some sort of PED based on how he always his some sort of heart-shattering home runs against the Braves. But to be technical, Adderall is not illegal if it is approved to be used, as it's a common ADD/ADHD prescription, but seeing as how Ruiz was quick to state that he would serve his suspension, I guess he's otherwise fine and was just cheating.

Phillies close to acquiring Wilton Lopez from Astros oh wait - Crashburn Alley
Wilton Lopez would have been a fairly good acquisition and an ideal guy to put into a shared set-up role to Jonathan Papelbon, but oh, oh, wait, nevermind. Deal fell through.

Speaking of falling through, the Phillies low-balled B.J. Upton - Bowman
The deep-pocketed Phillies somehow actually got out bid by the stingy Braves, to the tune of $20M, when they offered B.J. Upton 5/$55M. It's almost as if they made him sign with the Braves.

Never fear, Humberto Quintero to the rescue! - Beerleaguer
Suddenly, Gerald Laird looks more like David Ross again, when you compare the backup catchers of the Braves and Phillies.

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Nationals acquire CF Denard Span from Twins - Nationals Journal
In exchange, the Twins will receive former first-round pick, 22-year old pitcher Alex Meyer.

Denard Span is very, very excited to be coming to D.C. - The Bog
I have to imagine that most young guys are thrilled when they get traded from a 96-loss team with very little future in sight, to a 98-win team still in the midst of their contention window's opening. Not to mention that he "popped out" in D.C. at birth, so it's even a homecoming of sorts.

So what happens with the Nats now? - Nationals Journal
With Span in the fold, this creates a lot of roster shifts for the Nationals. With Jayson Werth firmly entrenched in right, Span taking over in center moves Bryce Harper to left. Harper in left moves Mike Morse out of the spot, and the only place he can play otherwise is first. If Morse takes up first then the Nationals no longer have any reason to really pursue Adam LaRoche...

Which probably explains why the talks for Adam LaRoche aren't going very far - MASN
Honestly if I were the Nats, I'd still try to secure LaRoche and rent Morse out. All things considered I'm still skeptical that Morse isn't a candidate to fall off a cliff sooner than LaRoche would.

An actual story that shows the drawbacks to the miracle drug cortisone - Nationals Journal
Due to the pain-killing nature of cortisone, Ryan Zimmerman often times didn't feel the discomfort that would have accompanied an awkward throw. In fact, for the most part of 2012, this led to him not being able to feel for a smooth consistent throwing delivery, contributing heavily to his error-prone season.

Sean Burnett's price rising - MASN
With the signings of available free agents, taking names off the table, a hard-throwing lefty like Sean Burnett's stock rises just a little bit more. To whether or not it reaches a point where the Nationals cannot afford to re-sign him has yet to be determined, but it could.

Guess who has one last option left after all? - Nats Insider
Due to a technicality involving a DL stint of another player, and the fact that he never actually pitched in the minor leagues in 2008, the maligned John Lannan has one more option left. If I'm John Lannan, and the Nationals did to me again what they did in 2012, and have me waste bullets in Syracuse, I'm getting ready to go postal. Before you know it, Lannan's going to end up on the Phillies so he can take it out on both the Braves and Nationals while at the same time forever avoiding the Phillies' lineup.

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Surprise of the century: Miami hates Jeffrey Loria - Fish Stripes
A poll of 400 South Florida sports fans was taken by the Miami Herald. The Herald is clear to use the terminology "self-described Marlins fans."

The only public figure who might lose a popularity contest to Loria in South Florida right now is Fidel Castro

And other interesting nuggets debating morality.

Justin Ruggiano seems to be very, very high on himself - Fish Bytes
Ken Rosenthal tweeted about how the Marlins need a CF and protection for Giancarlo, preferrably from the same outlet, and how the Fish were looking at guys like the Angels' Peter Bourjos and even reclamation Nate McLouth. And then publicly, Justin Ruggiano comes out of nowhere and says he can take care of both:

Speaking of Giancarlo, fluffy statement about how he won't be traded - Palm Beach Post
Larry Beinfest uses the term "grain of salt" a lot when fielding questions about Giancarlo's emotional tweets upon finding out about the latest firesale. Speaking of grains of salt, I gotta admit that if I'm a Marlins fan, I don't ever take anything the Marlins FO says with anything other than a grain of salt.

Carl Pavano wouldn't mind an easy paycheck with the Marlins - Palm Beach Post
Former Marlin, and still current South Florida resident, Carl Pavano sees in the Marlins exactly what someone in the stage of his career is looking for: a conveniently located professional team where he could make a little coin, and would likely sign him to a single year deal, where they could use each other to provide veteran presence and a stage for him to display his supposed "recovered" talent.

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