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Reliever Cortes signs minor-league deal

Jan 4, 2012, 8:36 PM EDT

The Nationals have signed right-hander Dan Cortes to a minor-league contract, according to Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein.

(No, not the hunky '90s actor who played Elaine's "mimbo" boyfriend on Seinfeld. That's Dan Cortese.)

Cortes, 24, is a hard-throwing reliever who saw limited big-league action each of the last two seasons with the Mariners, going a combined 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA in 14 appearances.

A seventh-round pick of the White Sox in 2005, the 6-foot-6 hurler came up through Chicago's system as a starter but battled command issues throughout his career (he has walked 4.4 batters per nine innings in the minors). He was traded with Tyler Lumsden to the Royals in 2006 for a familiar name: Mike MacDougal (the reliever who wound up savingRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    I feel the urge to make some reference to 17th century Spanish imperialism, but I will fight it.

  2. Grandstander - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Is that the same Dan Cortese who was the host of MTV Sports?

  3. hallwagner - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    he used to be on of the royals best prospects, good low risk, high reward signings

  4. Tcostant - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I'll take a no risk 6-foot-6 pitcher, any day of the week.

  5. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Great. Sign Fielder. Trade LaRoche for Upton. Lock-up Zimm. See what happens.

  6. rogieshan - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    I saw Cortes pitch for Seattle a couple years back. He's got serious heat – could be another Joel Hanrahan, or worse, Logan Kensing.

  7. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    The problem with the kid to date is that there's not been much reward.

  8. baseballswami - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Just a low-level teaser signing. Waiting, waiting, waiting….. By the way – when is the Gio introduction with the hat and jersey? Seems a little overdue.

  9. Bowdenball - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Anon 4:01-If we live in a crazy universe where we can trade LaRoche for Upton, why bother signing Prince for all that money? We can just trade Desmond for Votto.

  10. Section 222 - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    "Tcostant said… I'll take a no risk 6-foot-6 pitcher, any day of the week."Except if his name is Daniel Cabrera.

  11. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    The answer to the question: Who is the Swingman of Syracuse?

  12. Drew - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Mark:I hope he won't be climbing the walls in the pen — at least without a good harness.

  13. Water23 - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    How about passing on Prince but trading for Kendry Morales? Switching Hitting young 1b coming off injury might be worth Lannan + other?

  14. The Joker - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Advice- change that s to a z and wear a lot of gold chains

  15. Gonat - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Anonymous said… Great. Sign Fielder. Trade LaRoche for Upton. Lock-up Zimm. See what happens. January 4, 2012 4:01 PM _______________________________Uh huh, that almost makes sense. Let me edit for you:Sign Fielder. Trade LaRoche + $4 million for Upton. Lock-up Zim. See what happens!

  16. NatStat - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Obviously 'discovery' doesn't run in the family. Great Grandpa Cortes discovered South America, but this guy can't discover the strike zone!

  17. Gonat - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Scary (Good), Bill Ladson & Tom Boswell in a 2 day tandem have made much sense.That has never happened!http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120103&content_id=26256602&vkey=news_was&c_id=was&partnerId=rss_was

  18. Constant Reader - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Great line NatStat

  19. natsfan1a - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    I couldn't place the guy and there's no pic with the link Mark gave, so here's one with photo for those who might find it to be of general interest. ;-)

  20. SonnyG10 - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Good. Now we can have Cortes relieve MPHRod, relieve Gio and have the world's first 9 hour inning.

  21. The Joker - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Sign Fielder for 8 for $ 175 million, Ryan Zimmerman for 8 for $ 175 million. Trade Adam LaRoche, Roger Bernadina, Sell La Roche to the Orioles for $ 1. When the Nats bring up Bryce Harper in June they'll field the following line-up- Desmond SS, Werth CF, Zimmerman 3B, Fielder 1B, Morse RF, Harper LF, Espinosa 2B and Ramos C. It's not my money. Make the Lerners spend it all.

  22. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Big Z getting traded to the Marlins? Life just keeps on getting interesting in the NL East.dfh21

  23. NatsLady - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Wow. If that goes through–gonna be some fireworks in Miami…Just put a bolt on his locker, Ozzie.

  24. JaneB - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    May this be another surprisingly great grab from the Mariners!And who is Big Z?

  25. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Carlos Zambrano, big, crazy Venezuelan former Cubs Ace, current Cubs arse.dfh21

  26. natsfan1a - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    May want to armor the Gatorade cooler as well.NatsLady said… Wow. If that goes through–gonna be some fireworks in Miami…Just put a bolt on his locker, Ozzie. January 4, 2012 5:56 PM

  27. Unkyd - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    "He came dancing across the water….."

  28. Dryw - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Sec 222, I have to point out that Cabrera is a HIGH risk pitcher. Every time you put a ball in his hand, you risk losing your catcher, the corner infielders, and most of the fans in the front row….

  29. baseballswami - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Funny, I was thinking the same thing about Miami – will they need armed guards or shrinks in the dugout? Lomo was also tweeting about Ozzie today…What an interesting assortment of characters they are assembling down there. Makes the Nats look down right boring — well, we do have a squeaky-clean kind of group. Gomes added some interest for a while.Sometimes I think our guys are a bit too easy going and could use a little bit more fire. But – it is preferable to crazy or criminal.

  30. Drew - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    The Marlins' marketing staff is busy planning Meltdown Night.If they hurry, they can add Joaquin Andujar, Jose Offerman, Carl Everett, Elijah Dukes, Milton Bradley…

  31. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    Werth is not exactly Captain Cuddly — fighting in the clubhouse with Tony Plush, not so professional (reportedly) to Riggleman, attacking racing presidents . . . :-)The problem with our club from a PR perspective is that no one is very interesting. Morse is an upbeat guy; he might be the most marketable guy on the squad right. Storen and Clip and Burnett are dolts in terms of PR. LaRoche is a question mark, but low key in his previous stops. Ramos and MHPRod do not speak much. Espinosa has a chance to be charismatic but he's not there yet. Desmond is a bit of an introvert. Lannan is OK, but Wang is a no talker. Stras has that nice guy vibe that people love and the talent grabs you enough on its own, so he's good from a fan-love persepctive. But, Zim, the face of the club, is a sleep walker, no emotion ever from that guy. He reminds me of Kevin McReynolds from the 80's Padres/Mets — that guy had all the talent in the world, and on any given day he could look like it, or he could be terrible, you could not tell by his expression either way. If it were not for the Geico ad, I would have no idea hta Ryan had a sense of humor.This Nats club lacks charisma in a big way, no Livo, no Pudge, no Nyjer, no ancient warrior Stairs. Not that I am wishing for a bunch of wackos, but some interesting interviews and storylines might be nice. Maybe Nat Gio is going to make the club a fun one. Someone needs to step it up and give this club some identity going into the season.

  32. Gonat - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    baseballswami said… Funny, I was thinking the same thing about Miami – will they need armed guards or shrinks in the dugout? ____________________________Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle seem normal. Many of the other players are a conglomeration of egos, loafers, and bad attitudes. Reminds me of the Philadelphia Eagles.

  33. MicheleS - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Drew.. The Marlins will have Meltdown night when the Brewers are in town!.. Nyjer to start the evening off with his WWE impressions!captcha "medswood" as in meds would help this group of knuckleheads!

  34. Drew - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Seriously, why would any team sign a guy like Milton Bradley or Carlos Zambrano? If we know it's doomed, why don't they?There are a few certainties in life beyond death and taxes.It's like those old "Star Trek" episodes when they order "Yeoman Bob" to beam down with Bones and Spock. You shake your head, knowing that poor Bobby will meet disaster behind the big Styrofoam rock and never see The Enterprise again.

  35. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Wow, that's a lot of volatile ego in Miami. If they get off to a slow start, that team will seriously implode.

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    "The problem with our club from a PR perspective is that no one is very interesting."A poor carpenter blames his tools. Not that these guys are tools, or that I'm blaming Carpenter. I'm just saying. Still, there may be a Greg Minton in the bunch somewhere.OMG. The capcha is "hamyoko." I think the they are doing that on purpose.

  37. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    But more seriously, I think you're underselling Storen, and maybe Clippard has some angles, too–those glasses tell me he has some branding ideas of his own. Yes, I would [promote] Morse as hard as I could, and keep Werth away from the commercials whenever possible. Wang is actually funnier in person–maybe a niche thing. Livo was waaaaay underutilized. I gotta stop giving this stuff away for free…

  38. Wally - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    I can see the Zambrano trade from Miami's perspective. It looks like they are paying only $2-3m of his salary for 2012, essentially a decent reliever. If he regains his stuff and velocity, he could have upside. If he blows up, they cut him loose. It doesn't seem like a crazy gamble.Plus, he probably has appeal to the southern Florida community, which seems like it has been a consideration in Miami's moves this offseason.Hopefully he still stinks.

  39. Section 222 - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    "Hall of Famer" Peter Gammons on Hot Stove repeated Mark's argument about the Nats not being able to afford three players at $15-25 million each per year. I found it even less convincing coming from him.

  40. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Oh, and sorta along that line, Prince's walkup music, apparently, is "Flip Ya Lid."What, Erik Satie was already taken?

  41. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    But isn't it nice to see the Marlins get Zambrano and not think, "dang, we could use him!"

  42. MicheleS - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Sec 3..AMEN!But isn't it nice to see the Marlins get Zambrano and not think, "dang, we could use him!"

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    But the good part may be (MLBTR)(emphasis added):"The deal gives the Marlins a projected rotation of Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco and Zambrano. It presumably takes the Marlins out of the running for another Cubs starter: right-hander Matt Garza."

  44. baseballswami - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Sec – was that a covert "Bull Durham" reference at 7:43? Do young girls really get wooly? I could use a few more BD or Sandlot quotes.

  45. Drew - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    "The deal gives the Marlins a projected rotation of Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco and Zambrano."Also known as: tick, tick, tick, tick, Boom.

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    good catch, Swami, and good one, drew…

  47. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    The rationale behind Fielder over Votto.Comment From Mike Would you rather Prince Fielder now or Joey Votto in 2 years?Tim Dierkes: I lean toward Fielder now. I know he will probably age worse due to body type. But Fielder is essentially 28 now, as is Votto, so you get more prime of Fielder.

  48. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    "Hall of Famer" Peter Gammons on Hot Stove repeated Mark's argument about the Nats not being able to afford three players at $15-25 million each per year. I found it even less convincing coming from him.I don't think Mark said that at all? I think what he was saying was that even by doing nothing the Nats payroll was going to rise to 100 million in about three years. Its Pete Kerzel who was talking about cutting Clippard. Where he got that? Shaking head ruefully. Pete spends too much time watching his Orioles.But the Nats aren't going to "do nothing". And as has been pointed out the even at 100 million or above the Nats payroll would still likely be below the major league average? Also according to Mark, the Nats owner can no longer get paid for having a depressed payroll as Bud Selig desired. Instead of spending it on tried and true veterans the Nats with Rizzo and his think tank at the helm spent big bucks on signing bonuses for draft picks. Blowing slotting out of the water and forcing Selig to sponsor a rule change to block that. The Nats were getting ahead and both Selig and Angelos probably weren't very happy … Angelos probably calls him daily to complain. ;) In any case now ownership must put fannies in the seats and create a lucrative multimedia market for the franchise. The best start is to make sure that the team wins.

  49. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    Right answer:Comment From Adam Don't you agree that it would be silly to sign Fielder to a long-term contract considering it would be almost impossible to bring Zimmerman (whom I would trust way more long term) back after 2013 and is a local guy who is, in the way he connects to the area, like our Cal Ripken?Tim Dierkes: I don't think a Fielder contract makes a Zimmerman contract any less likely. We don't know their payroll ceiling.

  50. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    There's about 295 pounds of prime Fielder to be had. That body type is other worldy. No one in baseball has a physique quite like Prince's. D'Meathook is his heavy days comes close, but not even he was as cubist as Fielder. The guys is carrying at least 40 extra pounds, yet it just does not seem to matter much. But at some point it has to catch up with him. I would not want to owe the guy $150M when it does.

  51. N. Cognito - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Who is this "OUR Cal Ripken?"Money is not an issue, and I don't say that because the Lerners are billionaires. If the team wins, there will plenty of revenue to pay three $20 million salaries.

  52. Bill Veeck, quoted here many times, - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    "It isn't the high price of stars that is expensive, it's the high price of mediocrity."

  53. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Zim is not a local. Riggleman is a local. Emmanuel Burriss is a local. Zim grew up 150 miles from DC — by that standard 21 million people are local, including folks north of Philly. He is not a local. And he is nothing within a five iron of Cal Ripken in terms of emotional value to this club. The Nats have never had a winning record with the guy, much less won the Series a couple of times. The guy has made 1 All Star team and he averages .288 with 25 HR/ 95 RBI over 162 games and he's Cal Ripken to us? No. (LaRoche's 162 average are not far off from Ryan's, btw). Great player, want him to stay, but he's not some local boy made good. And he's not the hero who carried us to glory a la Cal. Not yet at least.

  54. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    This move with Zambrano to Miami might make Z the odds on favorite for comeback player of the year. Though, I am hoping Stras, Wang and LaRoche beat him out, of course. :-)dfh21

  55. baseballswami - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Perhaps a three way tie?

  56. NatStat - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    Baseballswami, et. al. re: players with fire There's a kid named Harper in the system, who loves to play the real game of baseball with piss and vinegar!Davey's lookin' forward to his arrival, with fire included–the sooner the better!

  57. Section 222 - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Stop the presses! Logan Kensing has signed a minor league deal with the Pirates. Do they think they can turn every reliever who was awful for the Nats into an All Star?

  58. Whatsanattau - Jan 5, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    All this certification of who is local and who is not is very junior high. Zim went to UVA – a characteristic shared with tens of thousands of locals, he grew up in VA – another characteristic shared by thousands of locals. He's part of the family, in the club, an accepted member of our area …. However you want to say it. The word local suffices for me, but I did not write the dictionary so what do I know …

  59. Sunderland - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Wally said… I can see the Zambrano trade from Miami's perspective. It looks like they are paying only $2-3m of his salary for 2012, essentially a decent reliever. If he regains his stuff and velocity, he could have upside. If he blows up, they cut him loose. It doesn't seem like a crazy gamble.****************Plus the Marlins gave up Chris Volstad. At 6'8" and 25 years old, he just might see big improvement in his mechanics over the next year or two. Under team control for 3 more years.Volstad's last 7 starts for 2011:Only 1 of the 7 did he give up 3 ER's.2.70 ERA1.20 WHIP6 of 7 rated as Quality StartsHis W/L record – No Wins, 3 LossesThey gave up Volstad for a one year experiment / rental of Zambrano. This could definitely work out badly for the Marlins. For the Cubs, this has nothing but upside. Good trade for the Cubs.Volstad also was Palm Beach High School and a former Marlins 1st round draft choice.

  60. N. Cognito - Jan 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Local is relative and contextual. It's not a great sin to consider Zimmerman a local.

  61. natsfan1a - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Dang, do we all need some real, live baseball or what? ;-) 45 days and counting…

  62. baseballswami - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    It's a sure sign that we need a big deal to go through or some live baseball when posters are arguing quite seriously over things like what it means to be local.

  63. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Fielder, 7 years, 23M a year plus incentives.

  64. Tcostant - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Sec 222 said… "Tcostant said… I'll take a no risk 6-foot-6 pitcher, any day of the week."Except if his name is Daniel Cabrera.——–Great point, but Daniel Cabrera did cost $2.6M, so there was more risk there…

  65. Anonymous - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    It's strained as can be to call Zim a local. He's more NC than DC and UVA is far away. The guy's not a better or worse person for being from another area, but he's clearly from another area.

  66. Big Cat - Jan 5, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Hmmmmm….6'6" 235 lbs. Only 24 years old. Fair stats. Better stats as starter. Bring him on. Could be a sleeper. Sometimes guys get a change of scenery and a new coach and they blossum. I'm sure he has a good arm. Riz loves those flamethrowers

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