February 7, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Nats sign 12 more players

Twelve more Washington Nationals players have signed contracts, including Jon Rauch, Saul Rivera, and Ryan Church. That leaves the two arbitration-eligible players, John Patterson and Chad Cordero, as well as two key junior players, Ryan Zimmerman and Nook Logan. Pitchers and catchers will report to spring training in Viera, Florida next Tuesday, and position players the week after that. See Washington Post. As cold as the weather has been across most of the country for the past couple weeks, it's hard to believe that spring really is "just around the corner."

Chris Needham analyzes the future salary trajectory Zimmerman is likely to get, assuming he is the team's Big Star attraction for the foreseeable future. He's obviously worth a lot more than players who make four or five times what he will make in the next couple years until he gains tenure and negotiating freedom. Let's just hope he has enough team spirit to put up with getting underpaid for the time being.

Vinny Castilla retires as a hero

The Mexican team from Hermosillo beat Venezuela's Aragua Tigers 4-3 in the Caribbean Series being held in Puerto Rico, and good old Vinny Castilla scored the winning run. The Mexicans ended up with a 1-5 record, and Venezuela finished the round-robin tournament at 2-4, so neither team will advance to the next round. See MLB.com. It was too bad Vinny didn't get better treatment at the end of his career, although the Rockies did hire him for the last few months of 2006. Now he gets to retire as a hero playing for his home country. Too bad his home town of Oaxaca became such a disaster zone last year.

Lew Burdette dies

Lew Burdette, who pitched for [most of his career with] the Milwaukee Braves, passed away of lung cancer at the age of 80. He won three games in the 1957 World Series, shutting out the Yankees in the final game in the Bronx, and was named MVP. See Washington Post.