Skip to content

Wang, Bruney, Burnett, Benson and Dukes

Feb 11, 2010, 4:36 PM EDT

Click here for info on the spring training fundraising campaign

A hearty good morning to everyone in NatsTown, where the sun is finally out but the snow is showing no signs of melting. Viera can't come soon enough.

Several news tidbits to share at this hour…

– No new developments, really, in the Chien-Ming Wang story. I know there are some reports out there (mostly stemming from a Chinese newspaper, I believe) that say it's a done deal and he's signed with the Nationals for $2 million plus incentives. But I've been told by multiple sources that it's not done yet. It certainly appears to be moving in a positive direction from Washington's standpoint, but it's not done and probably won't be for several more days.

– It's getting close to arbitration time, with hearings scheduled to take place next week in the Tampa area for the Nats' two yet-unsigned arbitration-eligible players: relievers Brian Bruney and Sean Burnett. While last-minute settlements often take place in these cases — remember last year when Jim Bowden worked out dealsRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Feb 11, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    I'd like to know what the Nats plan to do with the infielder formerly known as Esmailyn Gonzalez in 2010. Has anyone heard anything recently?

  2. JayB - Feb 11, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Just cut Smiley…..he will never get a visa to enter the US and it just reminds everyone of how poorly this organization has been run under Plan 1.0 to 3.2…addition by subtraction makes perfect sense here.

  3. An Briosca Mor - Feb 11, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    If nothing else, the source said, Benson could serve some purpose as a mentor for Stephen Strasburg, having been through just about everything Strasburg could now face as a fellow No. 1 pick.Strasburg just got married. Would Benson be mentoring him on the life of a married ballplayer? Not sure we really want that.

  4. JMW4th - Feb 11, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Kris Benson? meh. whatever. I don't see how he'll help, but I don't see how he'd hurt either on a Minor League deal.

  5. Kenz aFan - Feb 11, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Man, us Nats fans sure are a weird bunch. Even when there's no news of consequence, we still end up reading between the lines. Now let me see, what can I get from between the lines of this article. Don't rush me, I'm thinking.

  6. natsfan1a - Feb 11, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    I prefer tea leaves, myself. ;-)

  7. Steveospeak - Feb 11, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Hopefully the Wang deal will get done in the next few days. I think he will offer nice depth to our starting rotation, as well as potentially open up the Pacific Rim for international free agents. As for the Arb. cases I'm a bit surprised that they are both going to go to the arbitrator. Esp. Bruney since he didn't pitch for us at all last season. I know neither one of these guys are all-stars but why burn bridges with them during the hearing about telling them why they aren't worth the money.

  8. Johnny Baconbitz - Feb 11, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    On the 2 arb fellows, seems the $ is very close. Why antagonize them? Keep stockpiling more pitching, more pitching, more pitching…

  9. JohninMPLS - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    That's a total salary difference of half a million, right? It's not my money, but why split hairs? If they split the difference and reach deals with both, they buy good feelings for just $250,000 (and that's assuming they would have won both cases).

  10. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    Can't disagree with your guys' logic, and I was surprised to hear that the Nats are almost certain to go to hearings with both guys. But this might be based more on principle than actual numbers. They tried to strike deals with both players before the arbitration-filing deadline last month but couldn't get it done. Once the deadline passes, Rizzo apparently doesn't believe in opening up negotiations again. Just the way he prefers to operate.

  11. An Briosca Mor - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Rizzo's statement that he's willing to go to a hearing with Bruney and Burnett is nothing but a negotiating tactic. Look for them both to come to agreement before a hearing, even though it might be at the 11th hour a la Zimmerman and Willingham last year.

  12. Positively Half St. - Feb 11, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    ABM-The Benson marriage-mentoring crack got a chuckle from me. It does seem that marrying a model for mens' magazines shows a lapse in judgment to be taken into account by any GM.

  13. NattyLite - Feb 12, 2010 at 6:43 AM

    if you make it to 10k does that mean you will be covering spring training next year too?

  14. Mr. Doggett - Feb 12, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Just curious…do you think Wang would make any difference in attendence numbers at the park by bringing in more Chinese fans?

  15. An Briosca Mor - Feb 12, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    How ironic would it be if they sign the Taiwanese Wang, then he wins the fan-choice bobblehead competition and his bobble (heh heh he said Wang bobble) is made in Communist China? International incident, anyone? Could it be enough to finally get Obama out to the ballpark?

  16. Neato Torpedo - Feb 12, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    Man, Kris Benson? Really? /sighI keep wondering where Smoltz is in these conversations. Is he just holding for a contender? If not, and you want a mentor for Strasburg, it seems like THAT would be the guy.

  17. alm1000 - Feb 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    No No No. Not Smoltz. I hate the Braves.

  18. natsfan1a - Feb 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    I am so not a Braves fan, but I have to admit that I've always kinda liked Smoltz.Also, there's a nice piece on the ST campaign over on the Mister Irrelevant blog (sorry, I couldn't get the exact link to copy for me – you'll need to navigate to the Nationals section):misterirrelevant.com

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter