(AP Photos. Scott Olsen and Mike MacDougal: non-tendered by the Nationals today.)
"I certainly wouldn't be opposed to bringing either guy back. There's nothing wrong with the way they conducted themselves in the clubhouse and on and off the field. They were good teammates and good people."
(Mike Rizzo, via Chatter/Washington Times, 12/12/2009)
Nats say so long to Olsen, MacDougal.
Sounds like Rizzo is confident about his chances of bringing back both of 'em at bargain basement prices down the road, but it seems a little surprising for a team that needs all the help it can get at both the front and back ends of the staff. Were the potential paydays through arbitration really all that risky -- assuming Olsen (at $2.8 mill last year) would take a pay cut and MacDougal ($2.65 mil in 2009) would get a raise? Two separate cases, yes. But thinking optimistically for once, and perhaps reading into these decisions more than necessary: maybe Rizzo is feeling good about his chances of upgrading both the front and back ends of the staff through outside acquisition(s), where those millions saved on Olsen and MacDougal might come in handy. We wouldn't complain about that. At the very least, Rizzo will be watching the scrapheap around baseball once the non-tender deadline clears tonight at midnight.
MLB dot com's Bill Ladson got reactions from Olsen and MacDougal... Olsen doesn't seem surprised by the news and indicates he's expecting to return; MacDougal, disappointed.
"It's not an unexpected move by the organization. We have to see how this plays out. I don't have any plans to go anywhere else since I got traded over there. I think Washington is a great place to play. I would love to go back there."
(Scott Olsen, via All Nats All The Time, 12/12/2009)
"I'm disappointed. I enjoyed playing there. I thought I did a good job, so yeah, it's a little disappointing. What can you do? I'm a free agent and go from there."
(Mike MacDougal,via All Nats All The Time, 12/12/2009)
Finally, Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times reports that the Nats decided to tender contracts to Josh Willingham, Jesus Flores, Brian Bruney, Sean Burnett, and Jason Bergmann. Okay, no surprises there, really (except, maybe Bergmann). But hold on -- Zuckerman says the Nats tendered a contract to Wil Nieves after all. Who? Yes, that guy. What? Why? Another sign the team is not feeling good about Jesus Flores in 2010? Maybe Pudge is actually the bridge to Derek Norris?