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Ohlendorf, West sign minors deals

Jan 10, 2013, 9:01 PM EDT

Hoping to address their need for pitching depth, the Nationals have signed a pair of hurlers with big-league starting experience to minor-league contracts: right-hander Ross Ohlendorf and left-hander Sean West, according to Baseball America.

Ohlendorf and West have made a combined 95 starts in the major leagues, though with limited success. Each figures to open the season at Class AAA Syracuse and serve as alternatives in case a member of the Nationals’ already-set, big-league rotation suffers an injury.

Ohlendorf, 30, owns a career 18-32 record and 5.10 ERA in 108 games (73 starts) with the Yankees, Pirates and Padres. An 11-game winner with a 3.92 ERA for Pittsburgh in 2009, he has dealt with shoulder trouble in recent years and made only 22 big-league appearances the last two seasons (his ERA skyrocketing to 7.94).

A Princeton graduate with a degree in operations research and financial engineering, the 6-foot-4 Ohlendorf was designated for assignment by the Padres in September and became a free agent after the season.
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  1. Don - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Like the potential in West. He was a star prospect at one point, years ago. Not much risk, potential good reward.

  2. MicheleS - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Staffing up the minors.. good stuff, never know when or where you will find someone that can help the Team out.

  3. John C. - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Championship!

  4. Tcostant - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    I think Rizzo has a thing for tall pitchers. 6 foot 8, wow!

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Thanks for the heads-up MicheleS on the new post!

  6. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    OT, but for those interested in Duffy's, a popular Nats Fans meeting place, there's this.

  7. baseballswami - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Ok- I understand the need for depth, but still no lefties?

  8. Section 222 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Good stuff. This is who we can get for "starting pitching depth," not a stud like Javier Vazquez. Nothing wrong with that. You're not always going to have a guy as good as Lannan that you can stash in the minors as insurance. Remember that story about Lannan eating alone in Syracuse the night after winning a game in the bigs? Think Vazquez, who as 308 points out has earned $99 million over his career so far, wants to do that for several months just in case someone in our rotation gets hurt? Nah.

  9. baseballswami - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Oh, duh! West is a lefty! Head smack..

  10. sjm308 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I remember reading an article in Sports Illustrated quite some time ago about Ohlendorf and his education at Princeton. He is 30 and has to be realistic about what kind of opportunity is out there but I like adding depth with no risk.Ghost – will leave here to pay my debt on NIDOWas just thinking, Feel doesn't want to share drinks (imaginary or otherwise) and doesn't want to sit with us. Hmmmm

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    I wish someone had encouraged me to play ball when I was young.

  12. baseballswami - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    New drug testing policy out today. Things have changed so very much in a relatively short time. There will be no questions about the guys playing now when it is their turn to be on the ballot. Guys are caught every season, still trying to get away with things, but they are getting caught. Baseball now has to be the cleanest sport. Sure can't be cycling.

  13. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Happy Sofa? Sean West LHP.

  14. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Was just thinking, Feel doesn't want to share drinks (imaginary or otherwise) and doesn't want to sit with us. HmmmmHe's definitely **NOT** me. He is also PRAA and likely that doom and gloom guy who really railed against Strasburg getting shutdown and then wanted to pick a fight with me in Potomac.So, don't get any ideas sjm308.

  15. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I guess this now frees Rizzo and the FO so that they can make trades for high ceiling rockstar prospect pitchers at A+ and below and at the requisite ages for those levels. Adding Vasquez to the mix would pretty full open that avenue to them trade-wise.

  16. Section 222 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Feel comments in the morning peric. We know he's not you. :-)

  17. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I've been known to comment in the mornings … I've found I prefer letting many others comment first.

  18. baseballswami - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Gosh, some of you are divas.

  19. Clip&Store - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    saw ohlendrof a year or 2 ago…my goodness he is awful

  20. Feel Wood - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Was just thinking, Feel doesn't want to share drinks (imaginary or otherwise) and doesn't want to sit with us. HmmmmI've never said that. I merely said that I don't see the point in meeting people in person who are nothing but antagonistic to me online. You are not one of those people, sjm308, but unfortunately if I meet you I would have to meet the others as well.And speaking of not wanting to sit with others, there's NatsLady. She announced that she will be moving out of a section solely because I sit there as well – even though there is no chance that she would ever even know who I am, even if I was right next to her.

  21. JD - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Ohlendorf and West are exactly the type of pitchers one gets to fill out the AAA rotation; they are nothing special but if they come up they won't have stage fright and can fill in semi reasonably for a short time (taxi squad). I'm not sure how you fit in someone like Vazquez but at the same time he is an awfully good pitcher and starters have been known to come out of spring training with a soreness here and a soreness there. That would be the highest level of insurance I can think of and as someone once said you can't have too much pitching. I don't see any way Vazquez goes to the minors in any circumstance.

  22. Feel Wood - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Ohlendorf = inventory.

  23. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Yes, absolutely no way Vasquez gets shunted off to somebody's AAA team. I wished then, and even more now, that the Nats had made a big push and signed him after 2011. That would have spared us the Jackson agony. If Jackson is worth $52MM over four years, no wonder Vasquez is making a comeback — he's probably thinking he must be worth $60MM over five.I think Rizzo was just hoping to be there for Chavez's inauguration.

  24. natsfan1a - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    I thought Rizzo was reportedly in Puerto Rico, not Venezuela? Wherever he is, I trust in him. :-)

  25. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    I wonder why no one has asked about Jon Rauch as a potential LOOGY candidate? He's available and he's been reasonably effective in the past. He isn't that old yet. Does anyone think he harbors some bitterness about the Nationals from his time here?

  26. alexva - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    has he learned to pitch left handed?

  27. Don - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    OK, I am thinking that I should for no good reason start a wildly speculative and baseless rumor — Morse and Espi to the Yanks for Robinson Cano and a prospect. Boras's guy signs an extension with the Nats to the tune of 4 years $65M.

  28. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    has he learned to pitch left handed?Oh yeah there's that … I keep getting him confused as a lefty I don't know why I think he is? ~laughing~

  29. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Morse and Espi to the Yanks for Robinson Cano and a prospect. Boras's guy signs an extension with the Nats to the tune of 4 years $65M.The Yankees would never do it. And that Nats would give pause as well. Espi could end up being a whole lot better.

  30. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    I wonder if the Nats have considered tendering Brian Wilson a AAA contract while he continues his rehab?

  31. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Cano is counting on Texiera money, anyway.

  32. SCNatsFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    From what I remember about Rauch when his fall off the cliff was happening someone – I think his daughter – was sick, very sick. Never made it back to the same level after that.Love the LOOGY correct peric. Your initial comment made me think I had forgotten who he was. Just remember some really misplace tattoos.

  33. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Gosh, some of you are divas.More like a bomb shelter mentality waiting for the bombs to drop ya know Swami?

  34. baseballswami - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Ok – is there anyone out there, anybody, Bueller? Anybody who can pitch left handed? Need a job? Good working conditions, don't have to throw all that many pitches in a week – most of the time you just sit around the bullpen. Sounds like a good deal? Right? Inquire South Capitol Street.

  35. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Cano is counting on Texiera money, anyway.And Espy might be just as good soon for a whole lot less at least for now. And if Boras is involved in any move of Espy he is likely going to try to find him a shortstop slot.

  36. peric - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Apparently, Rizzo took time out to talk to Ladson. Ladson caught him on one though … Rizzo wouldn't admit to any contract extension talks with some of our favorite younger ex-prospects. Then Ladson asked a question in the context of Desmond breaking off said contract extension talks during last season so that he could concentrate on winning games.

  37. Gonat - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Justin Upton vetoed trade to Seattle. Should go all in on Morse.

  38. Don - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Cano is a career .308 hitter with power (3 consecutive Silver Sluggers). Has scored 100 runs a bunch of times knocked in more than 100 a bunch of times, and he plays GG quality D. Espi's chances of being that good are just not that good. The Yanks would maybe part ways with him if they don;t want to spend the coins to sign him (they will not be looking for a camp pick they'll wantt something MLB ready), and need a RHB OF/DH bat now and Espi would be a reasonable replacement under control for a while. The Yanks are likely going to trade either Granderson or Cano. But, Cano is not getting Tex money from any club — he'll make something north of what Utley got, but not $20M+ for 5 years. I don't think that any 2B has ever gotten those kind of coins and he's gonna be 31 next year. We'll see.

  39. Don - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    And the Yanks will have a SS slot soon.

  40. UnkyD - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Boy! The GMs on this board canNOT stand to leave well enough alone…

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    I feel like banging my head against the wall. Shaking my head just doesn't get it anymore.

  42. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    The Yanks would maybe part ways with him if they don;t want to spend the coins to sign him (they will not be looking for a camp pick they'll wantt something MLB ready), and need a RHB OF/DH bat now and Espi would be a reasonable replacement under control for a while.And neither do the Nats. Their payroll has reached 100 million as Mark reported. Now, with players like JZimmn and Desmond due extensions? There will be others later? Cano's "coin" was spent on Werth and Zimmerman. Within 2 or more years the Nats will likely be approaching 150 million easily. Espinosa still has one of the highest ceilings in baseball. He can do some things Cano cannot such as play a gold-glove caliber shortstop. Boras is also Espinosa's agent, doubtless he would be involved and would likely try to get the Yankees to guarantee Espinosa gets a legitimate shot at the shortstop slot.Cano's contract is ending THIS YEAR. The Yankees must either re-up the player or trade him. And its well known that Boras likes his players to hit free agency so that he can gauge the market and even help raise their value some with some of his chicanery. Think about it. The Nats aren't going to lose two affordable players, one a high ceiling prospect under team control and an affordable middle of the lineup slugger for a one year rental? REALLY? You actually believe Rizzo would do that knowing that Boras will want to test the free agent waters next season and absolutely won't go for an extension?Me thinks you have been on planet Spankee with that other Yankee fan that wants the Nats to give Morse away to them? Hell no the Yankees aren't going to get any help from Rizzo. Really your whole scenario is silly. Its way beyond silly its ludicrous.

  43. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    As Mike Rizzo told Ladson again just today, they make no moves unless the move helps the club both this year as well as in the future (or at least doesn't hinder the future). A Cano signing maybe helps this year … but after that it could hurt the club unless the Yankees part with their two top prospects in addition to Cano which we know they will never do. But in Rizzo's mind I guarantee you that is what he thinks Espinosa is worth. And honestly as much as this site loves to hammer the kid he just might be worth that price and then some.

  44. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Meant to say a Cano trade maybe helps this year … not signing.

  45. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Instead of Philthie fans we are now getting Spankee fans because they think Morse is available … sheeeesh!

  46. UnkyD - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    Nicely out, Peric… And NatsJack… Out a helmet on, first… ;-)

  47. baseballswami - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    I feel that we have debated Espi's range and high ceiling vs his K rate and poor approach waaay more than we have debated anything else– even the " shutdown", which we almost all agreed on. I hope he decides what kind of player he is going to be soon so we can go back to debating whether or not Werth will ever be worth his contract. Or some other subject. Off season is starting to feel mighty long.

  48. UnkyD - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Nicely put…… and put a helmet on…..(sheesh!)

  49. SonnyG10 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    UnkyD said…Boy! The GMs on this board canNOT stand to leave well enough alone…January 10, 2013 7:26 PMI've been thinking the same thing.

  50. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    TCRS — Topps Card Regression Syndrome

  51. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    so we can go back to debating whether or not Werth will ever be worth his contract.Based on most of the more obvious baseball metrics the answer is already obviously NO. But that wasn't the only reason they signed him to a contract and gave him the NO Trade. No free agent wanted to come here, all believed the Nats were the Angel'O's, the A's, or the Rays. Just less competitive. His signing helped change that and he was one of the veterans chosen to help mentor the tide of young prospects that would be arriving.I still believe, even with that, the answer will still be NO. But, that's what happens when you deal with Boras. Just ask the BoSox and Theo Epstein. At least the Nats have gotten quite a bit smarter in their dealings with Boras. Or at least it is hoped.

  52. baseballswami - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Ok- so I guess we never, ever have to discuss it again, right? :)

  53. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Let's face it they just might be more productive with Morse in left, Span in center, and Harper in right with Werth out of the lineup or platooning with LaRoche if LaRoche's production falls again. It might end up being better to alternate LaRoche and Werth while keeping Morse in the middle of the lineup. But that is unlikely to happen precluding the notion that the best 8 start even if the best 25 go north. Or at least IMHO.

  54. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Ok- so I guess we never, ever have to discuss it again, right? :)There really isn't anything else to discuss … the lineup is fixed. Other than trade possibilities that Rizzo and the FO will certainly explore. And they are out there. Looks like Justin Upton just quashed a huge trade with the Mariners for a bevy of prospects. That means the Mariners will come knocking at Rizzo's door again.

  55. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    I'll make one prediction … I strongly suspect the Nats just might be asking for a catching prospect again. I guess we'll see.

  56. baseballswami - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Don't we still have catchers?? Speaking of which- what's up with Flo?

  57. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Don't we still have catchers??Ramos might not be ready this spring … might require more rehab and then a rehabilitation assignment possibly opening the door for the Onion Jhonatan Solano. But, I think they wanted a top notch starting catcher like a Wieters or Posey or at least that's the impression I get of Rizzo and the FO's model. Not sure Wilson fits that now? No word on Flores signing with anyone that I know of?

  58. baseballswami - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Until Suzuki came, Flo was the starting catcher on a first place team. He should get a job somewhere.

  59. Don - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    peric — Werth on the bench? Face it, Morse is gone. It is just a matter of how soon and to which club and for what return.

  60. peric - Jan 11, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    JD Martin signed on with Tampa Bay, minor league with an invitation to camp.According to what Rizzo told Ladson he is hopeful that Nate Karns would be there to contribute to the major league club this season perhaps. He also said he was hoping some of the prospects would be there to provide this depth. Rizzo: There is no telling who you could see. Our elite guys — Anthony Rendon, Brian Goodwin, Nathan Karns — any of those guys could help us in the big leagues at some time this year.So, he probably isn't depending on any of these guys … Sean West might be interesting given his age. Its possible they might convert him to pitch in relief as they did Erik Davis last season. It seems likely they will work on converting Christian Garcia to start probably in AAA at Davey Johnson't behest … In any case I don't see any of these players they signed providing anything more than veteran filler at the AAA and perhaps AA levels.

  61. Gonat - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Interesting, a JD Martin sighting!

  62. Gonat - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Here's Lannan's contract details:John Lannan: 1 year, $2.5 million — Bonuses: $200,000 for 150 ip; $200,000 for 160 ip; $200,000 for 170 ip; $200,000 for 180 ip; $200,000 for 190 ip; $250,000 for 200 ip; $250,000 for 210 ip; $250,000 each for 31gs-34gs. That means Lannan could earn as much as $5 million, if he makes 34 starts with at least 210 innings pitched. (His career highs are 33 games started and 206 1/3 innings.)

  63. baseballswami - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    He is a work horse and could easily pitch that many innings.

  64. Gonat - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    baseballswami, that's a lot of bonus money for that 31st, 32nd, 33rd, and 34th start.

  65. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I am a bit skeptical about Lannen starting half his starts in CBP and behind Phillies IF defense that involves Howard and a 3b.

  66. Joe Seamhead - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    I agree,Faraz, and their outfield isn't looking too good, either.

  67. Tcostant - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    The next time Robinson Cano runs hard to 1B, will be the first time. No thanks!

  68. UnkyD - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Tcostant: Amen!!!

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