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Meredith signs minor-league deal

Feb 2, 2011, 10:25 PM EST

The Nationals announced the signings of reliever Cla Meredith and Alex Cora to minor-league contracts today, offering both players invitations to big-league camp this spring.

Meredith, 27, owns a 3.62 ERA in 286 career appearances with the Red Sox, Padres and Orioles. A Richmond native who pitched in college at VCU, he was a trusted setup man for San Diego for several seasons, before struggling in 2010. The sidearm-throwing right-hander went 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 21 appearances with Baltimore, then continued to labor at Class AAA Norfolk (posting a 6.00 ERA in 20 games).

Meredith does have a history of success in the National League, owning a 3.26 ERA and 1.306 WHIP over 237 1/3 innings. He'll have a tough time cracking the Nats' Opening Day bullpen, though, with Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett, Todd Coffey, Doug Slaten and Henry Rodriguez clearly ahead of him on the organizational depth chart.

Cora, whose signing was reported several weeks ago, figures to have a shot at making the Nationals' big-league roster as a utility infielder. The 35-year-old has spent parts of the last 13 seasons in the majorsRead more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Feb 2, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Probably ends up in Syracuse or below.

  2. Anonymous - Feb 2, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Depth. How many teams have so many legit guys they can throw out there?Patrick

  3. Anonymous - Feb 2, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Pitching and competition–can't have too much of either.

  4. BinM - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    The Meredith signing is another 'depth' move; He's a proven MR arm, and won't hurt under a minor-league contract. The Cora signing has been known about for a while (1/17/11), and should be looked at as another 'insurance' signing. I'm hoping that's one policy that the Nationals don't cash-in on; He's basically AGonz (all glove, no bat) with a ring, but he's eight years older, with declining range & no arm.

  5. Theophilus - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    If I were a baseball fan in Syracuse, I'd be looking forward to summer nights in Auburn or Batavia, or some other NY-Penn city where I could watch players who might actually be in the major leagues sometime in the future. Or just rowing on Lake Onondaga or Cayuga. Something painless.

  6. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    "Or just rowing on Lake Onondaga or Cayuga. Something painless."Preferably Oneida, or a nice finger lake like Skaneatles … Skaneatles itself is a really wonderful old Neo-classical town … amazing scenery. Not much fun in the winter if you hate snow. But amazing place, late spring, summer and fall.Onodaga (Hiawatha's Gitchiegoomie) is the most polluted lake in the world except for the radioactive artificial ones created by the brain damaged Russian leadership and military, size relative. They tried to clean it up but there is so much mercury and other similar metals used in the Solvay Process Chemical Plant and Halycum Steel … well you get the picture.

  7. Doc - Feb 3, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    Let's not forget Ballystar in the 7 reliever BP mix. ST should be real interesting, some gotta go, and some gotta stay. Also, Rule 5 Ramirez had a great Winter League.

  8. sjm 308 - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Mark:This might be a stupid question but in late March who will make the final decision on the 5th starting pitcher and the 6th & 7th relief pitcher if its close? Will it be Riggs and Rizzo, does Rizzo have the final say, or is there a group that meets to make these kinds of decisions? I am hypothetically putting this as a situation where several players will have made this a tough call. I understand some of this will be about options remaining and salaries and major league vs. minor league contracts but who actually makes the final decision? I am guessing it's Rizzo but wanted to be sure.Thanks.sjm

  9. SpashCity - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    sjm – This issue came up last season on an episode of "The Club" on MLB Network, which followed the White Sox front office, focusing on the relationship between GM Kenny Williams and Manager Ozzie Guillen.During Spring Training, Daniel Hudson (a familiar name around these parts), was on the bubble to make the starting rotation. A group that consisted of Williams, Guillen, and the pitching coach (whose name is escaping me), made the decision together to send him down to the minors to start the season, with Williams actually breaking the news to Hudson, as the other two sat in the room.I'm not sure this is exactly how it works with the Nats, but I would assume that Rizzo is smart enough to get the opinions of the brain trust that he put together. I would assume that Riggleman, McCatty, other coaches, assistant GMs, and certain high-level scouts get their say. In the end, I would agree with you that Rizzo gets the final call, but I'm sure there is a healthy discussion about all cuts, keeps, call-ups, send-downs, etc.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    The Nats brain trust is a little different in that Riggleman differs all questions on the pitching staff to McCatty. Therefore, I would imagine that the decision will be made by McCatty and Rizzo with minimal input from Riggleman. Rizzo may call on Davey Johnson for advice as he will have a more proinent on-field role this spring.

  11. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    *defers*As in, gives deference.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 3, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Correct…my bad… tough when you can't proof before the boss catches you.

  13. Theophilus - Feb 3, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Going back to something I said in another thread re: Kilgore @ the "Post," all they could do w/ Meredith and Cora this morning was cut-and-paste — really — the Nats' press release. Even Ladson offered than that (blind pig/acorn theory). Baseball fans in DC ought to be mailing the Post sealed envelopes of mouse droppings in protest of this miserable excuse for coverage.

  14. mjames - Feb 3, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    I am an infrequent poster but I will say that I have always been a fan of Maxwell. Even with hsi abysmal hiting I believe he is a better centerfielder that either Morgan or Bernadina. I know his hitting has been MIA but I really do not think he was given sufficent time to prove himself. I know he was given several chances but he was never given enough time to get comfortable. If he was given the same amount time as say Morgan we may have seen a different player. I really think Max is going to turns some heads for the Yankees. This was mistake on our part. I know I will get a push back on this but I think the Nat's made a mistake.

  15. Jaxpo Nat - Feb 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Theo… agree completely on Kilgore/Post. He has been subpar since his hiring IMO. But, there is a more pressing matter which requires my attention and it involves your use of the blind pig/acorn proverb. It seems the proverb, which originated in Russia by most accounts, is actually "even a blind pig finds a truffle once in a while" (truffle is an edible fungus), which is still the more widely used version in Europe (apparently American pigs prefer acorns). Pigs do, oddly enough, eat acorns so I guess either will do, but this is further complicated by the fact that pigs search for truffles AND acorns by smell, not vision and thus blind pigs would be just as successful as pigs with 20/20 vision. You also have the "blind squirrel finds a nut" version, which is the one I'm going to stick with because it seems to have fewer flaws.

  16. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 3, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    sjm 308 said…Mark: This might be a stupid question but in late March who will make the final decision on the 5th starting pitcher and the 6th & 7th relief pitcher if its close? Will it be Riggs and Rizzo, does Rizzo have the final say, or is there a group that meets to make these kinds of decisions? I am hypothetically putting this as a situation where several players will have made this a tough call. I understand some of this will be about options remaining and salaries and major league vs. minor league contracts but who actually makes the final decision? I am guessing it's Rizzo but wanted to be sure.Not at all a stupid question. Basically, the way it works is that near the end of camp, Rizzo, Riggleman, the entire coaching staff and a few other front-office folks get together and discuss the final roster decisions. Everyone has input, though obviously some opinions carry more weight than others. McCatty, in particular, has a big say on pitching decisions. In the end, the final call is Rizzo's, but he takes everyone's thoughts into consideration.

  17. Slidell - Feb 3, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Jaxpo Nat— Agree with you on all counts. BTW; even the dear departed Dibble used the "blind squirrel" version.

  18. Theophilus - Feb 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Jax — I defer to your superior knowledge of pigs.

  19. SpashCity - Feb 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    mjames said… I really think Max is going to turns some heads for the Yankees.The Yankees already have Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Andruw Jones in the outfield. Maxwell is going to compete with Colin Curtis and Greg Golson for the 5th outfielder job.I don't know that much about Curtis but Golson is very good on defense as well, and has 20-20 potential.I just can't imagine Maxwell is going to be able to crack the Yankees 25-man roster when he couldn't stay there with the Nats.

  20. Sec3 my sofa - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    "Theophilus said… 'Jax — I defer to your superior knowledge of pigs.'"I love this place.

  21. sjm 308 - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Thanks to all who replied. I did not see mention of the importance of posts of passionate comments,(both positive and negative), wonder how that was missed? Surely Rizzo has a minion who scours the blogs to make sure he bows to the demands of various fans. Actually, I do wonder if fan reaction does ever get back to the FO?

  22. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Sjm, I would hope not. If they don't believe they know what they are doing already, they're probably in the wrong job.Someone else, I think it was in here, recently mentioned the story of how Joseph Kennedy knew to get out of the stock market in 1929, before the crash, when he heard somebody getting stock "tips" from a guy shining shoes.Sec3

  23. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Brett Gardner: 2011's Nyjer Morgan?When I saw this headline, I thought surely the author's thesis would be that Gardner will slack off this year because all he has to worry about now is beating out Maxwell, just like Nyjer in 2010. But strangely Maxwell is not mentioned at all.

  24. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Fan reaction did used to get back to the FO. But they put a stop to that kind of nonsense by canceling NatsFest.

  25. Theophilus - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    If the FO paid attention to fans, JayB would be in charge of scouting in the Dominican Republic.

  26. NatinBeantown - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Now that FLop has signed with the Rays (last Type A/B FA), the draft order should be set. Does anyone know where to find what picks we wound up with? This is a crazy deep draft.

  27. SpashCity - Feb 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    re: 2011 draft orderhttp://riveraveblues.com/2011-draft-order/Looks like the Nats have #'s 6, 23, & 34

  28. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    FLop signed a minor league deal. Wonder how compensation works now? No compensation unless he makes the MLB roster and gets an MLB contract? Regardless, any FLop compensation to the Sox wouldn't jump in front of any of the Nats top 3 picks.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 3, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Now they're saying Lastings Milledge will get a shot with the White Sox.

  30. Theophilus - Feb 3, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    That's why his name is "Lastings." I can't figure out why teams continue to sign jerks like Lopez, who has now been given the heave-ho by at least three teams for bad attitude. Even in an emergency, you want this bag of toxic fumes in your locker room? Especially in the middle of a pennant race? Or, if you're a crappola team, while you're trying to develop young players? Is there some attitude rehab center he bounces in and out of like Lindsay Lohan? Please explain.

  31. Scooter - Feb 3, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Well, Theophilus, not to put too fine a point on it: these aren't junior-high pep squads. If a guy can help a team win ball games, they're gonna hire him — even if he is a rotten stinking meanie. Sure, an attitude moves a guy down the list. It's one factor among many.

  32. Steve M. - Feb 3, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Anon @12:36 -Since FLop signed a Minor League deal, the Red Sox get no draft compensation for him.

  33. Big Cat - Feb 3, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Funny how Elijah Dukes hasn't gotten a sniff from anyone

  34. TimDz - Feb 3, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    mlbtraderumors reporting that The Nationsls have signed Laynce Nix to a minor league deal with an invite to major league training camp.Guessing we will see a handful of such signings over the next two weeks or so…

  35. Anonymous - Feb 3, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Big Cat said… "Funny how Elijah Dukes hasn't gotten a sniff from anyone."I don't expect he ever will.

  36. N. Cognito - Feb 3, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    TimDz said… "mlbtraderumors reporting that The Nationsls have signed Laynce Nix to a minor league deal with an invite to major league training camp."That's great news. A Ryan Langerhans clone.

  37. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Hey….Rizzo was able to turn Langerhans in to Mike Morse.

  38. hondo69 - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Theo said …If the FO paid attention to fans, JayB would be in charge of scouting in the Dominican Republic. ——LOL!! Not only the Post of the Day but Post of the Week!!Theo — I also agree totally with you re: Kilgore/Post. I was willing to give him a chance, but after about two weeks, I took him off my Nats' bookmarks. I found him to be lazy and generally unresponsive to Nats' fans, unlike how interactive Mark and Ben G over at MASN are.

  39. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    "If the FO paid attention to fans, JayB would be in charge of scouting in the Dominican Republic." Yanno, it might be just crazy enough to work. Not the DR, maybe, but if fans do know who's good and who's a bum, then a few stipends to send somebody to go scout the Italian leagues, or Micronesian baseball (yes there is!) could pay off big. Gotta be cheaper, at least, than signing a ward full of rehabs and hoping one of them works.Sec3

  40. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Seriously, for $100,000, I won't even need per diem or travel money, I'll go scout the Western Pacific for talent nobody else is competing for, probably. If they make it to AA I get a bonus. If they make it to The Show I get a really nice bonus.

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