Texas Rangers: Washington Nationals
The top-5 (last week's rank):
1. New York Yankees (1)
2. Texas Rangers (2)
3. Washington Nationals (3)
4. Cincinnati Reds (5)
5. Detroit Tigers (15)
The AL West:
2. Texas Rangers (2)
6. Los Angeles Angels (6)
12. Oakland A's (18)
24. Seattle Mariners (26)
The Nationals are looking for a top-end veteran starter, and Lee would help sell some tickets and fill the enthusiasm void in Washington while Stephen Strasburg recovers from Tommy John surgery. If the Nationals fail to land Lee, they'll look for pitching elsewhere on the free agent market or try to swing a deal for a James Shields, Matt Garza or another starter who might be available in trade. One problem is, the Nats have no interest in parting with young middle infielders Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, so GM Mike Rizzo's trade chips are limited.
Michael Young is in the final vote competition with four other AL players (and was third in the voting yesterday) and Ryan Zimmerman is trying to get elected in the NL. So in order to try to boost his votes, both teams are hoping the fans of the other will help. Young and Zimmerman both taped in-stadium messages to play in each other's park. Young's message:
Hi, I’m Michael Young, and I’m endorsing Ryan Zimmerman in the Final Vote for this year’s All-Star Game. Vote for Ryan because he’s a good guy and a good player…and because Pudge would want you to.
Zimmerman's will air at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington the next few days. Fans have until 3 p.m. Dallas time on Thursday to cast their votes online here.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo made the announcement Saturday. Terms were not disclosed.
The 39-year-old Guardado is fourth among active pitchers with 908 appearances in a 17-year career with the Rangers, Twins, Mariners and Reds. The two-time All-Star has 187 career saves -- including an American League-leading 45 in 2002.
Nicknamed "Everyday Eddie," Guardado was 1-2 with a 4.46 ERA in 48 relief appearance last season with the Rangers.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Late last night (or early this morning), the Washington Nationals agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with catcher Pudge Rodriguez, according to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
It means Rodriguez, who declined arbitration from the Rangers on Monday, leaves the organization for the second time. It isn't quite as hard saying goodbye the second time, but Rodriguez would have been a nice insurance option at catcher for the Rangers.
The 38-year-old gets some security with the two-year deal. It leaves the Rangers searching for a veteran catcher just in case Jarrod Saltalamacchia has another setback from shoulder surgery.